Bucha, Ukraine – Ukrainian troops find brutalized bodies and widespread destruction in the suburbs of the capital as Russian soldiers withdraw and Moscowincluding missile strikes on Sunday that targeted fuel and ammunition supplies in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Associated Press reporters in Bucha, a small town northwest of kyiv, saw the bodies of at least nine people in civilian clothes who appeared to have been shot at close range. At least two had their hands tied behind their backs. The AP also saw two bodies wrapped in plastic, bound with duct tape and thrown into a ditch.
Authorities said they were documenting evidence as the Ukrainian military reclaimed the territory and uncovered clues of execution-style killings to add to their case to prosecute Russian officials for war crimes.
Oleksiy Arestovych, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said dozens of slain civilians were found on the streets of Bucha and Kyiv suburbs, Irpin and Hostomel, in what looked like a “scene from a movie horror”.
Arestovych said some people had been shot in the head and had their hands tied, and some bodies showed signs of torture, rape and burns.
The capital’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said civilians had been “shot with folded hands” and told German newspaper Bild that “what happened in Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs cannot be qualified as genocide”.
A day earlier, AP reporters saw Ukrainian soldiers carefully removing at least six bodies from a street in Bucha with cables in case the Russians had any bodies booby-trapped with explosives before their removal. Local residents said the dead were civilians killed without provocation, a claim that could not be independently verified.
Klitschko called on other nations to immediately end imports of Russian gas, saying they were funding the invasion of Ukraine, which is on its 39th day.
“No more pennies should go to Russia. This is blood money used to slaughter people. The gas and oil embargo must be implemented immediately,” the mayor said.
Charles Michel, President of the European Council, wrote on Twitter that he was shocked by the “haunting images of atrocities committed by the Russian military” in the capital region. The EU and non-governmental organizations were helping to preserve evidence of war crimes, according to Michel, who promised “new EU sanctions” against Russia.
Nearly two weeks ago, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the United States had determined that Russian forces hadin Ukraine, accusing them of “indiscriminate attacks and attacks deliberately targeting civilians”.
“Russian forces destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping malls and ambulances, killing or injuring thousands of innocent civilians,” Blinken said. “Many of the sites that Russian forces hit were clearly identifiable as being used by civilians.”