Ukraine accuses retreating Russian troops of civilian massacre

A woman walks amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022.
A woman walks amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022.   -  Copyright  AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd
By Euronews  with AP

Images showed dead bodies lining the streets of Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, as Russian forces retreated in the north of Ukraine. Russia has denied responsibility.

The extent of the devastation in the suburbs of Ukraine's capital Kyiv was revealed as Russian forces retreat in the north of Ukraine.

Images showed dead bodies and burned-out tanks lining streets in the town of Bucha outside the capital, with Ukrainian officials denouncing a "deliberate massacre" of civilians

Journalists who travelled to the city confirmed that they saw bodies in civilian clothes that appeared to be killed at close range.

Russian forces have retreated in the north but officials have warned that they will likely shift their focus to Ukraine's south and east.

EU Council President Charles Michel tweeted that he was "shocked" by the images of "atrocities committed by the Russian army" in the suburbs of Kyiv. He promised further sanctions in reaction.

Millions of people are internally displaced or have fled Ukraine since Russia invaded on 24 February. Officials now say Russia could focus its effort in the south and east of the country as it retreats in the north.


Here are the latest updates from Sunday on the war in Ukraine

  • Ukrainian officials have said that Russians deliberately targeted civilians in Bucha as images surfaced of bodies lining streets and devastation.
  • Explosions were heard in Odesa and black smoke rose above the port city.
  • Russians have retreated in areas of the north around the Ukrainian capital but could now refocus their efforts on the east, officials say.
  • EU Council President Charles Michel said he was "shocked" by images of "atrocities" in the suburbs of Kyiv and said there would be further EU sanctions. 
  • The Kremlin has condemned Western sanctions as "beyond reason".



NATO leader condemns 'brutality' in Ukraine

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the graphic images coming out of Bucha, Ukraine, after Russian troops withdrew show “a brutality against civilians we haven’t seen in Europe for decades.’’

He tells CNN’s “State of the Union” that “it’s absolutely unacceptable that civilians are targeted and killed" and that it's Russian President Vladimir Putin's responsibility to stop the war.

Stoltenberg says it’s “extremely important” that the International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into potential war crimes in Ukraine and that those responsible are held to account.

His comments echoed those by other European leaders, who condemned alleged war crimes and civilian killings by Russian forces in Ukrainian towns including Bucha near Kyiv, the capital.



Lithuania abandons Russian gas imports, says energy ministry

Lithuania's energy ministry said they would completely abandon Russian gas imports.

"We are the first EU country among Gazprom's supply countries to gain independence from Russian gas supplies, and this is the result of a multi-year coherent energy policy and timely infrastructure decisions," said Dainius Kreivys, the country's energy minister.

"From this month on - no more Russian gas in Lithuania. Years ago my country made decisions that today allow us with no pain to break energy ties with the aggressor," tweeted Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda.


White House committed to providing military and economic support to Ukraine

White House chief of staff Ron Klain says the US remains fully committed to providing a full range of economic and military support to Ukraine in its war against Russia, which he describes as “far from over.”

Klain credits Ukrainians for fighting off Russian troops in the northern part of Ukraine and says the U.S. and its allies are sending weapons into the country “almost every single day.”

But he also tells ABC’s “This Week” that there are signs that Russian President Vladimir Putin is redeploying Russian troops to the eastern part of Ukraine.

Klain says that while it will be up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to decide if the political endgame is to allow Russia to occupy the eastern part of Ukraine, from the US standpoint, the “military future of this attack has to be push back.”

He says regarding a potential Russian occupation of eastern Ukraine: “I will tell you, as President Zelenskyy has said, that’s not acceptable to him, and we are going to support him with military aid, with economic aid, with humanitarian aid.”



Zelenskyy calls Russian attack 'genocide'

In an interview with the US television network CBS, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the Russian war in Ukraine was "genocide" and said the war was about the "destruction and extermination" of the more than 100 nationalities living in Ukraine.

"We don't want to be subdued to the policy of the Russian Federation," Zelenskyy said.

He said that there needed to be a cease-fire before a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He said they should sit down together and discuss security guarantees and the neutral status of Ukraine while preserving the country's sovereignty.


57 bodies found in mass grave in Boucha outside of Kyiv

The bodies of 57 people were found in a mass grave in Boucha, a small city outside capital city Kyiv that was retaken by Ukrainian forces this week, local relief chief Serhii Kaplychny told AFP on Sunday.

A dozen corpses were visible, some only partially buried, AFP reported.

"Here, in this long grave, 57 people are buried," said Mr Kaplychnyi, who organised the recovery of the bodies.



UK foreign secretary 'appalled by atrocities' in Bucha, says attacks against civilians should be 'investigated as war crimes'

UK foreign secretary Liz Truss said in a statement that there was increasing evidence of "appalling acts" by Russian forces in Bucha and Irpin, both suburbs of Kyiv.

"Their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians during Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine must be investigated as war crimes," Truss said.

"We will not allow Russia to cover up their involvement in these atrocities through cynical disinformation and will ensure that the reality of Russia’s actions are brought to light."

She said that the UK was working with others to collect evidence and support the International Criminal Court in its war crimes investigation.


EU Council President Charles Michel says there will be further EU sanctions after the killings near Kyiv

EU Council President Charles Michel tweeted that he was "shocked" by the images of "atrocities committed by the Russian army" in the suburbs of Kyiv.

"EU is assisting Ukraine & NGOs in gathering of necessary evidence for pursuit in international courts," Michel tweeted, adding that there would be further sanctions.


Zelenskyy calls out Orban ahead of Hungarian elections

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy devoted a good part of his late-night address to his nation to call out Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for his support of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as Hungarians prepared to vote in an election Sunday.

Zelenskyy depicted the Hungarian leader as out of touch with the rest of Europe, which has united to condemn Putin, support sanctions against Russia and send aid including weapons to Ukraine.

“He is virtually the only one in Europe to openly support Mr Putin,” Zelenskyy said.

Zelenskyy noted the Hungarian people support the Ukrainian people, and distinguished between Hungarians and what he called “official Budapest.”

“The whole of Europe is trying to stop the war, to restore peace. Then why is official Budapest opposed to the whole of Europe, to all civilized countries?” Zelenskyy asked.



Kremlin says Western sanctions 'beyond reason'

The Kremlin says that by imposing sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin the West has demonstrated it has abandoned its sense of reason.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in televised remarks on Sunday that the sanctions against Putin were going “beyond the edge of reason,” adding that they showed that the West is “capable of any stupidities.”

Peskov added that Putin’s meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is “hypothetically possible” once negotiators from the two countries prepared a draft agreement to be discussed.

Additional sources • AFP

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