Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of genocide in his nation, as Western officials condemned photographs of dead Ukrainian people in a town in which Russian soldiers where expelled by Ukrainian army.
“Indeed, this is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and the people” Zelenskyy said via a translator on CBS’s “Face the Nation” news show on Sunday.
“We are the citizens of Ukraine and we don’t want to be subdued to the policy of Russian Federation. This is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated.”
Zelenskyy’s comments come a day after Ukrainian forces entered Bucha, near Kyiv, and discovered remains of people slain by Russian forces, according to officials and witnesses.
Russia has been accused of carrying out a “massacre” in Bucha by Ukraine.
The Ukrainian government’s charges were refuted by Russia’s defense ministry, which said footage and images of bodies in Bucha were “yet another provocation” by Kyiv.
“Not a single civilian has faced any violent action by the Russian military” in Bucha, according to the Defense ministry.
The photographs from Bucha were released after Ukraine said on Saturday that its forces had retaken control of the whole Kyiv area and freed towns from Russian forces.
The UN stated that the finding of mass graves in Bucha raised significant concerns about suspected war crimes and emphasized the necessity of preserving evidence.
UN’s human rights office stated, “What is known to date clearly raises serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes and grave violations of international humanitarian law.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Sunday that it has discovered “several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations” in Russian-controlled areas including as Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv.
Videos of possible Russian POW abuse by #Ukraine forces are credible enough to require an effective investigation. If confirmed, the abuse would amount to war crime.
— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) April 3, 2022
According to the UN, more than 1,300 people have been murdered in the nation, including 64 children, and 2,017 have been wounded.
UN believes the true statistics are “considerably higher.”
Enrico Letta posted on Twitter on Sunday, “How many #Bucha before we move to a full oil and gas Russia embargo?” “Time is over.”
“Putin and his supporters will feel the consequences,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said, adding that Western allies would agree to new sanctions in the coming days.
Christine Lambrecht, Germany’s defense minister, said the European Union should consider prohibiting the import of Russian gas, reversing Berlin’s previous opposition to such a measure.
The deaths in Bucha were described by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg as “brutality” that had not been witnessed in Europe in decades.
“It should be 100 percent withdrawal of troops to the borders that existed prior to the 24th of February, at least,” Zelenskyy stated when asked if Russian forces would need to retire to positions prior to the February 24 assault.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES