News World More evidence of war crimes: Anger and calls for reprisals over civilian ‘massacre’

More evidence of war crimes: Anger and calls for reprisals over civilian ‘massacre’

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  • Warning: Distressing content including images of war victims.

A man lays under a blue bicycle, his iPhone crumpled and his beret askew.

Another man is face-down on the bitumen. His hands are bound behind his back and his fingertips are turning black.

Another victim has been propelled across the street in a blast, the impact ripping his pants from his body.

Other corpses are charred, their faces unrecognisable.

These are just some of the examples of alleged war crimes mounting in Ukraine.

As The New Daily reported on Sunday, reports out of the war zone suggest civilians have been executed by retreating Russian forces.

The latest evidence points to the killings being a deliberate “massacre” – with 410 bodies discovered in towns around Kyiv by Monday morning.

In other regions, there have been stories of Russian soldiers repeatedly raping a woman and executing men.

Here’s what we know about the events which took place in Bucha, other alleged war crimes and the latest response from global powers.

Human Rights Watch report points to war crimes

A leading human rights group has released a report detailing “apparent war crimes” by Russian forces – including evidence of rape and unlawful killings of civilians.

The Human Rights Watch report is based on a series of interviews with eye witnesses, victims and local residents of Russia-occupied territories.

It documents atrocities against Ukrainian civilians in the occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv regions since February.

“These include a case of repeated rape; two cases of summary execution, one of six men, the other of one man; and other cases of unlawful violence and threats against civilians,” the report reads.

“Soldiers were also implicated in looting civilian property, including food, clothing, and firewood. Those who carried out these abuses are responsible for war crimes.”

The 410 people killed near Kyiv have been buried in mass graves. Photo: Getty

Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said the cases amounted to “unspeakable, deliberate cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians”.

“Rape, murder, and other violent acts against people in the Russian forces’ custody should be investigated as war crimes,” Mr Williamson said.

A woman told the human rights group that a Russian soldier had repeatedly raped her in a school in the Kharkiv region where she and her family had been sheltering on March 13.

She said that he beat her and cut her face, neck, and hair with a knife.

So far, Human Rights Watch has spoken to 10 people who have detailed abuse or threats from Russian soldiers.

A dog lies next to a body of a man in a street in the town of Bucha. Photo: Getty

Calls for investigation into war crimes

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called for international war crimes investigators to visit the town of Bucha to collect evidence and said Kyiv believed the killing of civilians was deliberate.

Andriy Sybiha, deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office called for a wave of new measures by the Group of Seven major Western economic powers, extending sanctions to all its banks, closing ports to its ships and imposing an embargo on all trade.

“The current sanctions are not having enough of an effect as the war is continuing,” Mr Sybiha said, in comments backed by Mr Kuleba.

European Council president Charles Michel said in a tweet that more European Union sanctions against Russia “are on their way”.

World leaders have condemned the shocking violence.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the images out of Bucha as a “punch in the gut”.

French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Paris would work with Ukraine and the International Criminal Court (ICC) to put those responsible on trial.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock tweeted: “The images from Bucha are unbearable, Putin’s uninhibited violence is extinguishing innocent families and knows no boundaries.

“Those responsible for these war crimes must be made accountable. We will tighten the sanctions against Russia and will assist Ukraine even more in defending itself.”

Mr Kuleba called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to visit Bucha and other towns around Kyiv as soon as possible to work with Ukrainian law enforcement agencies to “thoroughly collect all evidence of Russian war crimes” the ministry quoted him as saying.

“We are still gathering and looking for bodies, but the number has already gone into the hundreds,” he added.

“Dead bodies lie on the streets. They killed civilians while staying there and when they were leaving these villages and towns.”

On his Telegram channel, he wrote: “Bucha massacre was deliberate.”

Some men had their wrists bound. Photo: Getty

Russia claims its forces weren’t even in the area

Russia’s defence ministry denied that Russian forces had killed civilians in Bucha, and said all photographs and footage showing dead bodies were “yet another provocation”.

In a statement, it said all Russian military units had left the town on March 30.

Moscow has previously denied allegations that it has targeted civilians, and has rejected accusations of war crimes.

-with AAP