Mass killing of civilians in the Ukraine city of Bicha has evoked international outcry, with Western leaders calling for investigations and tough sanctions on Russia.
Around 300 bodies of Ukrainians were found in a mass grave in the northwest of capital Kyiv following the hasty departure of Russian forces from the area on Sunday, the city’s mayor said.
Reporters say they observed a mass grave in the town, and bodies strewn across a street.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky described it as “genocide.” He called for an end to Russian “war crimes.”
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Bucha massacre was deliberate. “I demand new devastating G7 sanctions NOW,” he wrote on Twitter.
French President Emmanuel Macron alleged that Russian forces have committed war crimes. He called for more sanctions targeting Russia oil and coal exports.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has described images of corps as a “punch in the gut.”
Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili said the Bucha massacre was a “crime against humanity.”
“The killing of innocent civilians violates international humanitarian law. It is absolutely intolerable and Japan condemns it in the strongest terms,” Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in a statement.
The European Council and UK are reportedly set to announce new sanctions in response to the massacre.
German defense minister Christine Lambrecht said the European Union must ban the import of gas from Russia.
Meanwhile, Ukraine’s interior ministry adviser Vadym Denysenko said 400 bodies were recovered from towns around the capital – Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel – retaken by Ukrainian forces.
Human Rights Watch said it has documented several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations against civilians in occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv.
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