VIDEO: Ukraine accuses Russia of massacre; outrage grows over ‘war crimes’ - GulfToday

VIDEO: Ukraine accuses Russia of massacre; outrage grows over ‘war crimes’

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A communal worker cuts the rope on the corpse of a man with his hands tied behind his back in Bucha. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Bodies with bound hands, close-range gunshot wounds and signs of torture lay scattered in a city on the outskirts of Kyiv after Russian soldiers withdrew from the area.

Ukrainian authorities were investigating possible war crimes by Russia after finding hundreds of bodies, some bound and shot at close range, strewn around towns near Kyiv after Kremlin forces withdrew to refocus their attacks in other parts of the country.

Ukrainian authorities accused the departing forces on Sunday of committing war crimes and leaving behind a "scene from a horror movie.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky called Russian troops "murderers, torturers, rapists, looters" on Monday after dozens of bodies were found near Kyiv, triggering global outrage and vows of tough new sanctions on Moscow.

Local authorities said they had been forced to dig communal graves to bury the dead accumulating in the streets, including some found with their hands bound behind their backs, in scenes that sent shockwaves through international capitals more than a month into Russia's invasion.


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As images of the bodies emerged from Bucha, European leaders condemned the atrocities and called for tougher sanctions against Moscow. In a sign of how the horrific reports shook many leaders, Germany's defense minister even suggested that the European Union consider banning Russian gas imports.

Ukrainian officials said the bodies of 410 civilians were found in Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces.

Russia-Ukraine-War-bodies-main1-750 A lifeless body of a man with his hands tied behind his back lies on the pavement in Bucha. AP

Despite Russian denials of responsibility, condemnation was swift, with Western leaders, NATO and the UN all voicing horror at reports of civilian murders in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, and elsewhere.

Zelensky was unsparing in his nightly video message, warning "concentrated evil has come to our land".

One resident, who refused to give his name out of fear for his safety, said that Russian troops went building to building and took people out of the basements where they were hiding, checking their phones for any evidence of anti-Russian activity before taking them away or shooting them.

Hanna Herega, another resident, said Russian troops started shooting at a neighbor who had gone out to gather wood for heating.

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A man walks past a body of civilian in the town of Bucha, near Kyiv on Sunday. AFP

"They hit him a bit above the heel, crushing the bone, and he fell down,” Herega said. "Then they shot off his left leg completely, with the boot. Then they shot him all over.”

As Russian forces retreated from the area around the capital, they also withdrew from the Sumy region, in Ukraine’s northeast, local administrator Dmitry Zhivitsky said in a video message carried by Ukrainian news agencies. The troops had occupied the area for nearly a month.

They pressed their sieges in other parts of the country. Russia has said it is directing troops to the Donbas in eastern Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists have been fighting Ukrainian forces for eight years.

The head of Ukraine’s delegation in talks with Russia said Moscow’s negotiators informally agreed to most of a draft proposal discussed during face-to-face talks in Istanbul this week, but no written confirmation has been provided.

The Russian invasion has left left thousands dead and forced more than 4 million Ukrainians to flee their country.

 

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