Zelensky visits Bucha after mass slaughter of civilians

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on Monday paid a visit to “show the world” the mass graves and other atrocities in the town of Bucha, as he vowed to hold Russia accountable for treating Ukrainians “worse than animals.”

“We want you to show the world what happened here. What the Russian military did. What the Russian Federation did peaceful in Ukraine,” Zelensky said to reporters in the northern suburb of Kyiv, CNN reported. “It was important for you to see that these were civilians.”

“What you see around, what they did to this modern town, is a characteristic of the Russian military, who treated people worse than animals. These are war crimes, and this will be recognized by the world as genocide,” Zelensky said, according to Ukrainian outlet UNIAN.

Taras Shapravskyi, deputy mayor of Bucha, said around 50 victims of extra-judicial killings by Russian troops had been found there after Kremlin forces withdrew late last week.

Damages from conflict areas in the Hostomel region on April 3, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine.
Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A photo shows damages from conflict areas in the Hostomel region, as Russian attacks on Ukraine continue, on April 03, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky paid a visit to “show the world” the atrocities in the town of Bucha.
Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A photo shows damages from conflict areas in the Hostomel region, as Russian attacks on Ukraine continue, on April 03, 2022 in Bucha, Ukrain
Bullet marks are seen on a van with “children” marked on it in the city center of Bucha.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A photo shows damages from conflict areas in the Hostomel region, as Russian attacks on Ukraine continue, on April 03, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine
Cars in Bucha were flattened by tanks, April 3, 2022.
Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A photo shows damages from conflict areas in the Hostomel region, as Russian attacks on Ukraine continue, on April 03, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine.
Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to hold Russia accountable.
Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Reuters journalists who visited Bucha also saw a mass grave at a local church, with hands and feet poking through the red clay heaped on top. The news agency reported finding the bodies of three men in civilian clothes, each shot in the head. One man had his hands tied behind his back, and powder burns to his face, indicating a gunshot at close range.

All three were reportedly wearing civilian clothing.

Zelensky said Monday that “dead people have been found in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured.”

CONTENT WARNING:

The hand of a dead civilian seen on a highway outside Kyiv on April 2, 2022.
The hand of a dead civilian on a highway outside Kyiv on April 2, 2022.
Mykhaylo Palinchak/SOPA Images via ZUMA Press Wire
The corpse of a man lies in a basement in Bucha was found on April 4, 2022.
The corpse of a man lies in a basement in Bucha on April 4, 2022.
AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

“It’s very difficult to conduct negotiations when you see what they did here,” he added.

More horrifying scenes emerged on Monday, including vehicles flattened by the fighting and a bullet-riddled truck marked with the word “deti,” which means “children” in Russian.

President Biden called for additional sanctions against Russia in the wake of the discoveries, and again called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal

CONTENT WARNING:

Ira Gavriluk holds her cat as she walks next to the bodies of her husband, brother, and another man, who were killed outside her home.
Ira Gavriluk holds her cat as she walks next to the bodies of her husband, brother, and another man, who were killed outside her home.
AP Photo/Felipe Dana
The lifeless bodies of two men lie on a dirt path in Bucha, Ukraine after being killed by Russian forces.
The bodies of two men lie on a dirt path in Bucha, Ukraine, after being killed by Russian forces.
AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda

“What’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone sees it,” Biden said Monday.

“We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight. And we have to gather all the detail so this can be an actual — have a war crimes trial,” Biden said.

The bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces, Ukraine’s prosecutor-general, Iryna Venediktova, said Monday.

CONTENT WARNING:

Volunteers collect bodies of murdered civilians on April 4, 2022 after Russian forces devastated the populace.
Volunteers collect bodies of murdered civilians on April 4, 2022, after Russian forces devastated the populace.
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
Russia is facing a fresh wave of condemnation after evidence emerged of what appeared to be deliberate killings of civilians in Ukraine.
Russia is facing a fresh wave of condemnation after evidence emerged of what appeared to be deliberate killings of civilians in Ukraine.
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
The bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces.
The bodies of 410 civilians have been removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces.
REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
President Volodymyr Zelensky walks through the town of Bucha on April 4, 2022.
President Volodymyr Zelensky walks through the town of Bucha on April 4, 2022.
RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

The Kremlin continued to deny the atrocities outside Kyiv, with the Russian defense ministry saying all evidence of the killings is “faked,” according to the state-run TASS news service.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called photographs of dead and bound civilians “stage-managed anti-Russian provocation” on Monday.

With post wires

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