A few hours after the withdrawal of Russian troops around kyiv, stories of abuses and war crimes committed in Ukraine are multiplying in the liberated cities. In Boutcha, a town near kyiv, the bodies of 57 people were found in a mass grave.
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According to local authorities, the toll of the massacre would in fact be much higher. “We have already buried 280 people in mass graves”because it was impossible to do so in the three cemeteries of the municipality, all within firing range of the Russian soldiers, explained the mayor of the municipality, Anatoly Fedorouk. “All these people were shot, (…) they (Russians) killed them with a bullet in the back of the neck”he added.
→ INVESTIGATION. In Ukraine, experts and investigators on the trail of war crimes
This is a “deliberate massacre, denounced this Sunday, April 3, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kouleba. The Russians want to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can. We have to stop them and put them out. I demand devastating new G7 sanctions now”he wrote on Twitter.
Support from Western states
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reacted in the afternoon by calling this discovery a “punched in the stomach”. “It has to stop”he estimated.
In Europe, several leaders have also expressed their outrage. President Emmanuel Macron also reacted on Twitter.
The images reaching us from Boutcha, a liberated town near kyiv, are unbearable. In the streets, hundreds of cowardly murdered civilians. My compassion for the victims, my solidarity with the Ukrainians. The Russian authorities will have to answer for these crimes.
—Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 3, 2022
esteeming “shocked by the haunting images of the atrocities committed by the Russian army in the liberated region of kyiv”, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, affirmed that “the EU is helping Ukraine and NGOs to gather the necessary evidence for prosecution in international courts”.
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In the UK, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also denounced the “revolting acts” committed by the Russian army against civilians in Ukraine, calling for increased sanctions against Moscow. The head of diplomacy assured that the United Kingdom would support “fully any investigation by the International Criminal Court”.
‘Putin’s rampant violence is wiping out innocent families and knows no bounds’at denounced in a tweet his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, who assured that “those responsible for these war crimes” should ” accountable. (…) We will strengthen the sanctions against Russia and support Ukraine more in its defence. »
The EU has already adopted several sets of sanctions against Moscow since the offensive in Ukraine, massively targeting companies, banks, senior officials, oligarchs, and banning the export of goods to Russia.
“Let’s pray for peace”
Pope Francis condemned “Sacrilegious War” in Ukraine. “Let us pray for peace while thinking of the humanitarian tragedy of martyred Ukraine, still under the bombardments of this sacrilegious war”he said after an open-air mass in front of at least 12,000 people in Valletta, capital of Malta.