BUCHA, Ukraine (AP) — Six piled up charred bodies were under investigation Tuesday in Bucha, the town outside kyiv where graphic evidence of murder and torture emerged after Russian forces withdrew.
It is not known who these people were or under what circumstances they were killed. One of the bodies was smaller than the others, probably a child, said Andrii Nebytov, chief of police of the Kyiv region. One of the bodies had a bullet in the head.
The pile of bodies seen by Associated Press reporters lay just off a residential street near a colorful, empty playground, and was visible to passers-by as they cautiously exited to collect ugly.
“It’s horrible,” Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky said at the scene, which included other journalists. The minister said Russian President Vladimir Putin should “go to hell”.
The AP saw dozens of dead bodies around Bucha, where Russian forces retreated last week. Images of some of the bodies with their arms bound horrified the world. Many of the victims seen by AP appeared to have been shot at close range, some in the head. At least two had their hands tied.
Ukrainian officials said the bodies of at least 410 civilians were found in towns around kyiv that were retaken from Russian forces in recent days. Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office has called a room discovered in Bucha a “torture chamber”.
The grisly images of beaten or burned bodies left in the open or hastily buried have led to calls for tougher sanctions against the Kremlin, in particular a cut in fuel imports from Russia. Germany and France responded by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, suggesting they were spies, and US President Joe Biden said Putin should be tried for war crimes.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy left Kyiv this week on his first reported trip since the war began nearly six weeks ago to see for himself what he called ‘genocide’ and ‘war crimes to Bucha.