The withdrawal of the Russian army around Kiev left shocking evidence of the atrocities committed against civilians in the suburbs and cities of the province, which turned into hellish war zones after the invasion of Vladimir Putin.
When Ukrainian armored vehicles entered the city north-west of the capital, Bucha, their streets were blocked with burnt Russian tanks and military vehicles, and strewn with the corpses of civilians, who residents say were killed by the invaders. Without any provocation.
City photos show a scene of destruction, with carbon and destroyed tanks and armored vehicles surrounding the street, along with dead bodies.
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporters saw at least 20 bodies, all dressed in civilian clothes, lying on a street in Bucha. The body of a missing Ukrainian photographer, Maxim Levin, was also found in a nearby town.
According to AFP, three of them were still on the bikes having their last ride, while others fell next to the shot and crashed cars.
Journalists who entered the devastated city explained that one of them had his hands tied behind his back in white cloth and that a Ukrainian passport was open next to the body.
“All these people were shot,” Bucha Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told AFP, adding that another 280 bodies were buried in mass graves in the city. “These are the consequences of the Russian occupation.
Ukrainian soldiers in Bucha, who were warmly welcomed by city residents, attached cables to the corpses and dragged them off the street, fearing they would be trapped in an explosion. Soldiers also cleared barricades and inspected suspicious items, blowing up red scars on top of dishes to draw attention to the possibility of an explosion.
While the city was being liberated, a 55-year-old woman, Halina Tovkach, told The Guardian that she was looking for the body of her husband, 62-year-old Oleg. He was killed by Russian soldiers along with neighbors, two young children and a mother as they tried to flee the city on March 5. “This is a war crime,” Tovkach’s son said.
Among the civilians killed by the Russians is Olha Sukhenko, the mayor of the city of Motizhin, east of Kiev, and her entire family.
This is not the only time Russia has been accused of war crimes. The Russian army used children as “human shields” when retreating.
The Prosecutor General of Ukraine is drawing up a complaint file alleging that Russia uses local children to avoid fires when it retreats to the Ukrainian capital and elsewhere. Children’s buses are said to have been parked in front of tanks in the village of Novi Bikiv, near the fenced town of Chernihiv, 160 kilometers north of Kiev.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is “shocked by the atrocities committed in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities.”
“Reports that Russian forces are targeting innocent civilians are disgusting. The UK is working together to gather evidence and support the International Criminal Court’s investigation into war crimes. “Those responsible will be held accountable,” Tras wrote on Twitter late Saturday.
Ukraine and its Western allies say that with each passing day there is growing evidence that Russia is withdrawing its troops from Kiev and sending troops to eastern Ukraine instead. This apparent change in strategy does not mean that the country will be able to take a break after more than five weeks of war, or that more than 4 million refugees fleeing Ukraine will return soon.
Donbass and southern Ukraine as targets
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has reiterated his warning that the Russian army wants to occupy Donbass and southern Ukraine. “We know the enemy has reserves to increase pressure on the east,” Zelensky said in a video address late Saturday. However, he promised to fight the Russians in Donbas and drive them out of the Kiev region.
“We are strengthening our defenses in the east of the country and in the Donbas,” Zelensky said. “What is the purpose of Russian troops?” “They want to occupy both Donbas and southern Ukraine.”
But Zelensky complained that “the global security architecture has failed” and that Ukraine “has not yet received enough modern Western anti-missile systems” from its Western allies, nor has it received a plane. He added: “Every Russian missile that hits our cities, and every bomb that falls on our people, our children, only adds to the black spot in history that describes everyone on whom the decision depended.”
On Sunday morning, some sources reported a chain of explosions in the southern port city of Odessa.
“Odessa air attack was carried out. “Some of the missiles were fired by the air defenses,” the city council said in a brief statement issued through the Telegram app. He said fires were reported in some areas but did not provide details on the target of the attack.
According to AFP, Ukrainian mediator Davit Arakhamia, who is involved in the negotiations to find a peaceful solution between the parties, would say that Russia “verbally” takes Ukraine’s position in the peace talks, except for the Crimean issue. . Moscow has also acknowledged that a referendum on Ukraine’s neutral status “would be the only way out of this situation.”
Arakhamia also told Ukrainian television that if a meeting between Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin took place, it would “most likely” take place in Turkey.
In a separate interview published Sunday, the Polish vice-premier accused France and Germany of having very close relations with Russia. He also condemned Berlin’s behavior towards Moscow before invading Ukraine.
“Germany, like France, has a strong pro-Moscow bias,” Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is also the leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS), told the German newspaper Die Welt.
Kaczynski left the toughest words to Berlin, saying that for years the German government had chosen to ignore what Russia was doing under Putin’s leadership “and today we see the result.” He added that “Poland is not satisfied with Germany’s role in Europe.”
Translated by Emma Reverter.
Source: El Diario