Global Outcry Meets Evidence of Atrocities in Bucha

Bucha's mayor reports bodies of executed civilians in the streets, mass graves
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2022 5:35 PM CDT
Updated Apr 4, 2022 12:00 AM CDT
Ukraine Reports Civilian Executions
Ukrainian soldiers walk Sunday amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha.   (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

The discovery of the bodies of apparently executed civilians left behind in a Ukrainian town by withdrawing Russian troops was met with international condemnation on Sunday, even as residents assess the horrific toll. One street in Bucha contained the bodies of at least 20 men, CNN reports. "Their hands are tied behind their backs with white 'civilian' rags, they were shot in the back of their heads," Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk told Reuters. He said about 270 town residents had been buried in two graves, per the Washington Post. President Volodymyr Zelensky said the Russian forces are committing genocide.

The Russia Defense Ministry said "not a single civilian has faced any violent action by the Russian military" in Bucha or other Kyiv suburbs, per NBC News. But Fedoruk puts the civilian deaths in his town at more than 300, and photos and video show bodies among the destroyed military vehicles on the streets. Residents said Russian soldiers went building to building, pulling people from the basements where they'd sought safety. The troops checked their phones for signs of opposition to the invasion, then took them away or shot them on the spot, townspeople said.

US officials are discussing imposing more sanctions against Russia. The EU has rejected pressure from Zelensky and President Biden to slap sanctions on Russian oil and gas, but that could change now. Germany's defense minister said Sunday the EU should consider it, per the New York Times. Ukraine asked the International Criminal Court to come see the mass graves in Bucha as part of a war crimes investigation, per the Post. "The most important thing is we can’t become numb to this," said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the scenes in Bucha demonstrate a "brutality against civilians we haven’t seen in Europe for decades." (Read more Russia-Ukraine war stories.)

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