Bring justice for war crimes, Zelensky urges UNSC - GulfToday

Bring justice for war crimes, Zelensky urges UNSC

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Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link on Tuesday. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Ukraine’s president told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that the Russian military must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes, accusing invading troops of the worst atrocities since World War II.

President Volodymyr Zelensky, making his plea via video, cited reported atrocities against civilians carried out by Russian forces in the town of Bucha on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv, saying they are no different than other terrorists like the Daesh group.

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Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks in Kyiv. File photo

Images of slain bodies on the ground, particularly from the town of Bucha, have stirred global revulsion and led to demands for tougher sanctions and war crime prosecutions against Russia.

Zelensky, making his first appearance before the UN’s highest body, stressed there are more places in Ukraine that have suffered similar horrors.


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He called for a tribunal to be established that is similar to the Nuremberg tribunal set up to try war criminals after World War II.

Horrific images of corpses lying in the streets, some with their hands bound behind them, have drawn international condemnation of Russia.

Videos and photos of streets in the town of Bucha strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, some with their hands tied behind their back, have led to global revulsion, calls for tougher sanctions on Russia and its suspension from the UN’s premier human rights body, the Human Rights Council.

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

It has denied responsibility and suggested the images are fake or that the deaths occurred after Russian forces pulled out of the area.

But newly released satellite photographs taken by Maxar Technologies in mid-March, before the Russian withdrawal, showed what appeared to be bodies in some of the same places they were later found by Ukrainian troops and seen by journalists.

On Monday, wearing body armour and visibly distressed, Zelensky spent half an hour in Bucha, where he blamed Russian troops for the killings.

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

"These are war crimes and it will be recognised by the world as genocide," he said.

Later in his nightly address, he demanded "the sanctions response to Russia's massacre of civilians must finally be powerful".

"But... did hundreds of our people have to die in agony for some European leaders to finally understand that the Russian state deserves the most severe pressure?" he asked in the video posted to Telegram.

He also called for additional weapons from Western allies, saying more equipment could have saved thousands.

"I do not blame you — I blame only the Russian military," he said. "But you could have helped."

 

 

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