‘Death, just death’: Zelensky’s comments following a tour of Bucha massacre

According to Fox News, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that during his recent tour of Bucha, Ukraine, all he saw was “death, just death.” 

Zelensky made the comment during an interview that he did with CBS News for 60 Minutes. The interview is scheduled to be broadcasted in its entirety on Sunday.

Background

Bucha is a town located just outside of Kyiv, Ukraine’s Capitol. Following the recent withdrawal of Russian troops from the area, images have emerged revealing some of the atrocities that have been committed there.

The images appear to show a large number of civilians killed in the town’s streets as well as mass graves.

Various outlets have provided first-hand accounts of what their reporters have witnessed. Reuters, for example, reports:

Reuters has witnessed the remains of five victims in Bucha who were shot through the head. One had his hands tied behind his back. Another his feet tied.

ABC News similarly writes:

One blackened body had arms raised in supplication, the face contorted in a horrible scream. The skull of another had a bullet hole in the left temple. The small blackened foot of a child could be seen in the tangle of charred bodies piled together in Bucha, the town outside of Kyiv where graphic evidence of killings and torture has emerged following the withdrawal of Russian forces.

War crimes?

Many, including world leaders, believe that Russia likely has committed war crimes in Bucha and other areas of Ukraine. Zelensky has plainly accused the Russians of having committed genocide.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has flatly denied this. Russia has tried to explain the images away claiming that the dead people seen in the images were killed after Russian troops left the area. Russia has further claimed that, despite numerous reports to the contrary, it has not harmed a single civilian.

CBS News, among other outlets, calls these claims into question. The outlet reports, “satellite photos . . . [show] bodies were strewn across Bucha’s streets and yards long before Russian forces beat a hasty retreat late last week.”

The outlet goes on to cite CBS News correspondent Debora Patta as having “personally saw evidence of war crimes.”

5,600 cases

Axios reports that “Ukraine has opened 5,600 cases of alleged war crimes since the beginning of the Russian invasion.” An investigation into these war crimes is being led by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The big question is what actions will be taken should it be confirmed that Russia has committed war crimes. An answer has yet to be provided.

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