RUSSIA was accused of genocide today after the bodies of executed civilians lay strewn in the roads and mass graves were filled.
At least 20 bodies, all in civilian clothing, were seen across a single street in the town of Bucha, near Irpin, on Sunday.
10Neighbours gather next to a mass grave in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, UkraineCredit: AP
10Bodies lie on a street in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, as the UK investigates war crimesCredit: AFP
10A dead civilian can be seen on a highway 20km from KyivCredit: Rex
AFP journalists said at least nine of the bodies appeared to have been executed, including two whose hands were tied behind their backs.
At least three were naked from the waist up while another man had his Ukrainian passport left open beside him.
President Volodymyr Zelensky told the CBS program Face the Nation today: “This is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and the people.
“We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities.
“This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities.”
Bucha’s mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk, said “all these people were shot,” adding 280 other bodies had been buried in mass graves elsewhere in the town.
It comes as…
Meanwhile Zelensky’s spokesman told the BBC: “It looks exactly like war crimes.
“We found mass graves. We found people with their hands and with their legs tied up… and with shots, bullet holes, in the back of their head.
“They were clearly civilians and they were executed.”
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss today called for the attacks to be “investigated as war crimes” insisting: “We will not allow Russia to cover up their involvement in these atrocities through cynical disinformation.”
Referring to towns on the outskirts of Kyiv, she said: “As Russian troops are forced into retreat, we are seeing increasing evidence of appalling acts by the invading forces in towns such as Irpin and Bucha.
“Their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians during Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine must be investigated as war crimes.”
The International Criminal Court in The Hague has already opened a probe into possible war crimes committed in Ukraine.
Several Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden, have accused Russia’s Vladimir Putin of being a “war criminal”.
Human Rights Watch also said it had documented cases of Russian troops committing possible war crimes against civilians in occupied areas of Chernigiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv, including rape and summary execution.
It comes as Ukraine said it had regained control of the Kyiv region, with Russian troops retreating from around the capital and Chernigiv city.
Ukrainian officials said on Saturday their forces had taken back more than 30 towns and villages around Kyiv, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched its invasion.
“The whole Kyiv region is liberated from the invader,” Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Malyar wrote on Facebook.
But there is too much sorrow for celebration.
The roads are mined, homes are destroyed and thousands of those who fled have been told, for now, not to return.
After more than five weeks of brutal fighting, Russia is also understood to have regrouped for battles in eastern Ukraine.
President Volodymyr Zelensky warned in a video address: “They are mining all this territory. Houses are mined, equipment is mined, even the bodies of dead people.”
He did not cite any evidence but the claims were echoed by Mayor Fedoruk, who said bodies had not been collected due to fears Russians had booby-trapped them.
Ukraine’s emergencies service said more than 1,500 explosives had been found in one day during a search of the village of Dmytrivka, west of the capital.
Russia’s defence ministry did not reply to a request for comment on the mining allegations and they have not been verified.
Moscow denies targeting civilians and rejects war crimes allegations.
10The lifeless body of a Russian soldier lies on the ground in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, on SaturdayCredit: AP
10Communal workers carry a body of a civilian man killed by Russian troops’ shelling in BuchaCredit: AFP
10Communal workers collect the bodies of two men killed during Russian army shelling of the town of BuchaCredit: AFP
10The lifeless body of a man with his hands tied behind his back lies on the ground in Bucha on SundayCredit: AP
10A civilian’s body can be seen lying on a highway 20km from KyivCredit: Rex
10A civilian defence force looks at four dead civilians on the side of a highway under a blanket 20km from KyivCredit: Rex
10The lifeless body of a Russian soldier lies on the ground in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, SaturdayCredit: AP