News World Europe Zelensky warns of worse Russian atrocities yet to be revealed

Zelensky warns of worse Russian atrocities yet to be revealed

Joe Biden calls for war crimes probe over Ukraine

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Civilian casualties in cities liberated from the invading Russians will be much higher than the horrifying scenes that have already been revealed in Bucha, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky warns.

“There is already information that the number of victims of the occupiers may be even higher in Borodyanka and some other liberated cities,” Mr Zelensky said in a video address on Tuesday (Australian time).

“In many villages of the liberated districts of the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions, the occupiers did things that the locals had not seen even during the Nazi occupation 80 years ago. The occupiers will definitely bear responsibility for this.”

Mr Zelensky, who will address an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday night also predicted worse instances of mass killings of civilians by Russian troops.

He accused Russia of attempting to cover up evidence of war crimes committed by its troops in occupied areas.

Tuesday’s Security Council session will consider Ukrainian allegations of the murder of civilians by Russian soldiers in Bucha, north-west of Kyiv, following the discovery of hundreds of bodies, some bound and shot at close range.

Russia has categorically denied the accusations, calling them “criminal provocations” and said it would present “empirical evidence” to the Security Council that its forces have not been involved in atrocities.

However, satellite images from Maxar Technologies show the bodies of dead civilians in Bucha lying in the streets for weeks, including when the town was under Russian control. They were first published by The New York Times on Monday (US time).

CNN has also authenticated and geolocated disturbing video that shows the bodies in Bucha last week. It emerged on Friday, the day Ukraine declared the town liberated from Russian troops.

Mr Zelensky has already spoken by video link to more than a dozen assemblies – including the Australian parliament, US Congress, British parliament and European parliament.

“I would like to emphasise that we are interested in the most complete, transparent investigation, the results of which will be known and explained to the entire international community,” a stern-looking Zelensky said in his nightly video address.

In Bucha, where mass graves and bodies were found after Ukraine took the town back from Russian forces, at least 300 civilians had been killed, he said.

“This is only one town: One of many Ukrainian communities which the Russian forces managed to capture,” he said.

Ukrainian authorities say they have restored control over all of Kyiv region and other districts after Russia announced it had shifted its aims away from Kyiv and Chernihiv in the north to secure control over all the eastern Donbas region.

It was in Ukraine’s interests to have “thousands of journalists there. As much as possible! Let the world see what Russia has done”, Mr Zelensky said.

He said Russian forces did not conceal what happened in Bucha but could well do so in other places they had occupied.

“We must also be aware that after the revealed mass killings of civilians in the Kyiv region, the occupiers may have a different attitude to their crimes in another part of our country where they came,” he said.

“They are already launching a false campaign to conceal their guilt in the mass killings of civilians in Mariupol. They will do dozens of stage interviews, re-edited recordings, and will kill people specifically to make it look like they were killed by someone else.

“They used the same tactics when the occupiers shot down a Malaysian Boeing over Donbas. They blamed Ukraine. They even came up with various conspiracy theories. They even went so far as to claim that the corpses were “thrown” on board the plane before it crashed.”

Mr Zelensky called on Western leaders to impose further sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s regime, saying that the punishments “must finally be powerful”.

-with AAP