As Russian troops continue to retreat from major Ukrainian cities, Ukrainian forces continue to uncover more and more evidence of war crimes committed against civilians. Most recently, hundreds of dead Ukrainian civilians were discovered buried in a mass graves.
On Saturday, columns of Ukrainian armored vehicles entered the small town of Bucha, just north-west of Kyiv. There they found their routes blocked by shelled and burnt Russian tactical vehicles and the bodies of Ukrainian civilians who appeared to be murdered by invading Russian forces.
Reporters saw some slain civilians laid out with their bicycles, appearing to have been shot while riding. One civilian casualty’s hands were bound behind his back with a makeshift piece of cloth, his passport left open next to his body.
"This wound will never heal. I would not wish it even on my worst enemy."
There are bodies everywhere in Bucha – in mass graves and in the streets. Russian forces retreated from the ruined Kyiv suburb last week leaving Ukrainians to collect the deadhttps://t.co/GileWnHRUx pic.twitter.com/KfWEAG7PvX
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) April 4, 2022
Anatoly Fedoruk, Bucha’s mayor, said of these presumed war crimes, “All these people were shot… These are the consequences of Russian occupation.” Fedoruk also said that the bodies of 280 civilians were buried in mass graves in his town.
Ukrainian troops used cables to pull the bodies of civilians from the streets for fear of booby-traps. They also marked unexploded ordnances and other suspicious items with improvised red panel markers made from rags.
Civilians as Human Shields
Russian troops have also been accused of using civilians, particularly children, as human shields to deter Ukrainian troops from firing on them. It was reported that Russians have been placing vehicles filled with children in front of static Russian vehicles in Novyi Bykiv, approximately 100 miles north of the capital.
Liz Truss, England’s foreign secretary, said she was “appalled by atrocities in Bucha and other towns in Ukraine”. According to the official’s tweet, “Reports of Russian forces targeting innocent civilians are abhorrent. The UK is working with others to collect evidence and support [International Criminal Court] war crimes investigation. Those responsible will be held to account.”
Appalled by atrocities in Bucha and other towns in Ukraine. Reports of Russian forces targeting innocent civilians are abhorrent.
The UK is working with others to collect evidence and support @IntlCrimCourt war crimes investigation. Those responsible will be held to account.
— Liz Truss (@trussliz) April 2, 2022