Russia-Ukraine live updates: Zelensky calls for help investigating ‘butchers and looters’


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Footage taken on April 3 shows mass graves and bodies of civilians lying in the streets of Bucha, a city in Ukraine near Kyiv. (Video: Joshua Carroll/The Washington Post, Photo: The Washington Post)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appealed to the international community to help Ukraine investigate and punish the Russian forces he accused of committing atrocities against unarmed civilians in Bucha and other Ukrainian cities, images of which have prompted a global outcry.

Zelensky called Russian forces “butchers and looters,” and he vowed to find every soldier involved in such crimes and hold them — as well as their leaders — accountable.

“The responsibility is shared,” he said in Russian. “The responsibility for the murders, the torture, the torn-off hands and feet strewn about the street. For the people shot in the back of their head with their hands bound,” he said.

Zelensky also directed remarks toward mothers of Russian soldiers he accused of executing civilians.

“What did the Ukrainian city of Bucha ever do to Russia?” he said in Russian. “How did this all become possible? … You couldn’t have not known that was inside your children.”

The Ukrainian leader also announced the creation of a special agency to investigate and litigate crimes committed by Russian forces, and whose purpose will be to collaborate with local and international “specialists, investigators and prosecutors,” to punish people who may have been involved in crimes against Ukrainians.

Western leaders denounced the alleged atrocities Sunday and said they would intensify sanctions, but Zelensky said such punishment “is not enough.”

“More consequences are needed, not just for Russia but for the political behavior that allowed this evil to come to our land,” he said, calling on “friends of Ukraine around the world” to help punish wrongdoers.

“But the time has come to do everything possible so that the war crimes of Russian soldiers do not become the latest manifestation of this evil on Earth,” he said.

The Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News and Analysis


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