Ukrainian officials say the atrocities seen in Bucha are “just the tip of the iceberg” – and pleaded for tougher sanctions against Russia.
Speaking during a news conference in Warsaw with UK foreign Secretary Liz Truss yesterday, foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said: “Ukraine won the battle for Kyiv, but the war goes on. We are preparing for the new large-scale offensive by Russia in eastern Ukraine.
“They will try to capture more territories in Donetsk and Luhansk region regions. They will try to entrench and root themselves in the Kherson region, they will try to capture bleeding Mariupol.
“What you’ve seen, the horrors that we’ve seen in Bucha, are just a tip of the iceberg of all the crimes that have been committed by the Russian army in Ukraine so far.
“And I can tell you that without exaggeration and with great sorrow that the situation in Mariupol is much worse compared to what we’ve seen in Bucha and other cities, and towns and villages nearby Kyiv.
“The horrors of Bucha, Mariupol and other places demand serious G7 and EU sanctions. I appreciate everything that has been done so far, but Liz (Truss) is right. The West continues to fuel the Russian war machine with payments for fossil fuels, with trade that is still taking place between Russia and Western countries.”
Meanwhile, Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelensky visited Bucha on Monday, where he told reporters “these are war crimes and will be recognised by the world as genocide”.
It comes as satellite images of the small Ukrainian town of Bucha show a trench about 45ft long dug into the grounds of a church where a mass grave has been identified, according to private US space technology company Maxar.
The Kremlin denied claims by Ukraine that hundreds of civilians were killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha.
It said the numerous photographs and videos published by Ukraine alleging “war crimes” were a “provocation”.
Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…
- Russia threatens to abandon ISSTHE future of the International Space Station hangs in the balance after Russia on Saturday again threatened to abandon the project.The head of the country’s space agency hinted that it will end cooperation on the orbiting space lab in response to international sanctions over the war in Ukraine.Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said that a timetable for completion of the ISS project will soon be submitted to Russia’s leadership.It follows similar threats made by the 58-year-old last month that Roscosmos later rowed back on.Rogozin’s latest comments came after the United States, the European Union, and Canadian space agencies missed a deadline to meet Russian demands for lifting sanctions on Russian enterprises and hardware.Rogozin told reporters that the state agency is preparing a report on the prospects of international cooperation at the station.
- Japan brings in 20 Ukrainian refugees on special flightThe Japanese government flew 20 Ukrainian refugees into Tokyo on Tuesday in a high-profile show of support for the international effort to help Ukraine by a country that has long been reluctant to take in foreigners.The 20 – aged from 6 and 66 and including 15 women – are not the first Ukrainian refugees to arrive in Japan since Russia invaded their homeland on Feb. 24 – but they are the first to be flown in on a special government plane on a trip arranged by Japan’s foreign minister.”The government of Japan is committed to provide the maximum support to these 20 Ukrainians to help them live with a sense of peace in Japan, even though they are far away from their home county,” Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi told reporters in Poland shortly before he and the refugees set off for Japan.Hayashi, who had been assessing the refugee situation in Poland, flew in on a separate flight shortly before the 20 arrived.National broadcaster NHK showed their arrival in a live broadcast. Their plane was shown on the tarmac while the 20 underwent COVID-19 tests on board, NHK said.Ethnically homogeneous Japan has long been wary of foreign migrants despite an aging population and a chronic labour shortage but opinion polls show a vast majority of Japanese support giving sanctuary to Ukrainians.The 20 are joining nearly 400 other Ukrainian refugees who have arrived since the Russian invasion.
- Zelensky speaks on visit to BuchaUkrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has spoken during his visit to Bucha.The city is one of which Russian forces have been accused of slaughtering civilians.He told reporters that residents were showing their humanity by ensuring homeless animals were fed.He said: “That’s a characteristic trait of our people, I think – treat animals the way you would treat humans.”“[But] you can see around what was done to this modern town. That’s a characteristic of Russian soldiers – treat people worse than animals. That is real genocide, what you have seen here today.”
- EU ready to send war crimes investigatorsUrsula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, says the EU is ready to send joint investigations teams to Ukraine to document reported war crimes.She has tweeted after speaking to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky.I spoke with President @ZelenskyyUa about the atrocious murder of civilians in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine.The EU is ready to send Joint Investigation Teams to document war crimes in coordination with the Ukrainian Prosecutor General.@Europol and @Eurojust will support.— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) April 4, 2022
- UK government is considering further action against Russian soldiersThe BBC have reported that senior government sources say the UK is considering further action against Russian soldiers themselves.It’s understood this could include sanctions for what the prime minister has described as evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.Measures being looked at, could target captains, majors and colonels in the Russian military.
- Russia’s newest £38m fighter jet burnsUkrainian forces have claimed to have downed another Russian fighter jet with the remnants seen burning in a field.The Su-35S, Flanker-E fighter jet, which costs £38million, was brought down near the city of Izyum, in the Kharkiv region, according to local news outlet Nexta.MP Anton Gerashchenko said the pilot ejected and was caught as he tried to flee.Ukraine’s military has named the Russian pilot as Major Sergei Yermalov.He reportedly serves in the 159th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment based at Besovets airfield in the Republic of Karelia, northwest Russia.Ukrainian authorities say they have shot down two planes and one helicopter in the past 24 hours.
- Red Cross unable to reach MariupolIt has been reported that the Red Cross says its teams have again been unable to reach the south-eastern port city of Mariupol.The BBC reports that the group has tried unsuccessfully for days to access the besieged city.They have been trying to escort bus loads of civilians back into government-controlled territory.Tens of thousands of people are still trapped with scant access to food, water and electricity.
- Putin dealt another blow by AnonymousHACKING group Anonymous claims it has released the details of 120,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine, in the latest cyber attack on Putin’s forces.Names, dates of birth, addresses, and even passport numbers were included in the major hack of Russian data.It comes after Anonymous vowed “unprecedented attacks” on Russian government sites.In its latest statement, the group said: “Personal data of 120,000 Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine was leaked.”It went on: “All soldiers participating in the invasion of Ukraine should be subjected to a war crime tribunal.”Earlier, Anonymous claimed it had made public 15 GB of data stolen from the Russian Orthodox Church’s charity wing.
- UK to push for more sanctions on Russia as evidence of Ukraine atrocities mountsThe UK is to push for tougher international sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s Russia and increase supplies of arms to Ukraine as evidence of atrocities continue to emerge from the war zone.Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “Britain will never waver from supporting our friends” in a sign of the increased commitment to defend Ukraine.Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will meet Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Warsaw on Monday ahead of key G7 and Nato talks later this week where she will push for tougher economic measures against “the Putin war machine”.Ms Truss argues that weakening Russia’s economy will help strengthen Ukraine’s hand in peace negotiations with Moscow.She will hold talks with Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau on Tuesday and has also pledged a £10 million civil society fund for Ukraine, including support for organisations dealing with sexual violence following reports of Russian forces using rape as a way to terrorise the civilian population.There has also been widespread international outrage about other atrocities, including possible mass executions carried out by Russian forces as areas around the capital, Kyiv, returned to Ukrainian control.Ms Truss said: “Putin is yet to show he is serious about diplomacy. A tough approach from the UK and our allies is vital to strengthen Ukraine’s hand in negotiations. Britain has helped lead the way with sanctions to cripple the Putin war machine.”We will do more to ramp up the pressure on Russia and we will keep pushing others to do more. We will continue to support those who are suffering as a result of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, including the victims of sexual violence and those in need of humanitarian support.”
- PM ‘keen to send new types of military aid to Ukraine’Boris Johnson is keen to send new types of military aid to help Ukraine, Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday.He added that Kyiv had asked for help in defending against Russian ships.”Certainly the prime minister is keen to look beyond what we have already provided,” the spokesman said, declining to provide specifics.”We are aware of the requests from the Ukrainians for equipment to defend themselves from ships and we are looking into what we can do.”
- Russian TV presenter claims Ukraine army killed their own civilians in BuchaA Russian TV presenter went on an unhinged rant on state news broadcast – claiming Ukraine is killing it’s own civilians that they deem traitors.A tweet from the BBC’s Francis Scarr reads: “Olga Skabeyeva: “The West is using Bucha to legalise future purges in areas previously occupied by the Russian army.”The people were killed by Ukrainian forces because they didn’t resist the Russians.”The West is thus giving Ukraine approval to extrajudicially kill those they deem traitors”
- Eight dead and 34 wounded after shelling in southern UkraineEight people were killed and 34 wounded in recent Russian attacks on two towns in southern Ukraine, prosecutors in Kyiv said Monday.Referring to attacks on Sunday, Ukrainian Prosecutor General said in a statement: “As a result of enemy shelling, seven residents of Ochakiv were killed and another 20 were injured.“In the city of Mykolaiv one person died and 14 people were wounded, among them a child.”
- United States backing international prosecutors teamThe US is supporting a multi-national team of international prosecutors going to the region to collect, preserve and analyse evidence, at the request of Ukrainian officials according to the US State Department.The aim is to pursue criminal accountability against Russia.A spokesperson for the State Department said: “Those responsible for atrocities must be held accountable as must those who ordered them.”They cannot and will not act with impunity.”
- France will expel Russian diplomatsFrance is the latest country to decide to expel Russian diplomatic staff.Its foreign ministry announced it was expelling many Russian diplomats.The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “their actions go against our national security interests.””This move is part of a European initiative.”The French news agency AFP quoted a source close to the Foreign Ministry as saying 35 people would be expelled.
- Russia will face ‘maximum sanctions’ following its war crimes, warns Liz TrussRUSSIA will face “maximum sanctions” and new Western weapons following its war crimes, Liz Truss said yesterday.The Foreign Secretary condemned the “butchery” and “barbaric crimes” committed as Putin’s troops retreated from Kyiv.She called for Russia to be booted out of the UN Human Rights Council,Her demand came after a meeting with Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Poland.Meanwhile, American President Joe Biden called Putin a “war criminal” saying he would face a “war crimes trial”.He said: “This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous.”
- Zelensky says ‘it’s difficult to talk’ as he surveys brutal aftermath of invasionPresident Zelensky said “it’s very difficult to talk” as he surveyed the destruction and mass graves in Bucha. The Ukrainian leader, 44, added that Putin’s troops committed war crimes and genocide in the city where 400 civilians were killed.President Zelensky, surrounded by military personnel, said today: “It’s very difficult to talk when you see what they’ve done here.”Every day we find people in barrels, cellars and where else. Some strangled, some clearly tortured.“These are war crimes and will be recognised by the world as genocide. “We know of thousands of people killed and tortured, with severed limbs, raped women and murdered children.”
- PM ‘keen to send new types of military aid to Ukraine’Boris Johnson is keen to send new types of military aid to help Ukraine, Johnson’s spokesman said on Monday.He added that Kyiv had asked for help in defending against Russian ships.“Certainly the prime minister is keen to look beyond what we have already provided,” the spokesman said, declining to provide specifics.“We are aware of the requests from the Ukrainians for equipment to defend themselves from ships and we are looking into what we can do.”
- UN human rights chief ‘horrified’ by images of dead in BuchaThe UN human rights chief said Monday she was “horrified” by images of dead bodies in Bucha, near the Ukrainian capital, after Russian soldiers retreated, warning of possible war crimes.“I am horrified by the images of civilians lying dead on the streets and in improvised graves in the town of Bucha in Ukraine,” Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.“Reports emerging from this and other areas raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law,” she said.
- Actress who played the ‘girl in the red coat’ in Schindler’s List becomes real-life heroineAN actress who was the “girl in the red coat” in Schindler’s List has turned real life heroine by coordinating help for fleeing Ukrainian refugees.Oliwia Dabrowska appeared in Steven Spielberg‘s 1993 classic aged just three – her red coat providing the only flash of colour in the black-and-white Oscar winner.Her character, a little Jewish girl, was the catalyst that saved the lives of more than 1,200 Jews destined for Nazi concentration camps in 1943.And now Oliwia, 32, from Krakow, Poland, has taken inspiration from Oskar Schindler and is helping those fleeing war-torn Ukraine.She told followers on social media she was coordinating a group of volunteers who are helping refugees as they arrive at the Polish border.She said she has already found homes for ten families and ensured hundreds more refugees are transported to major cities in Poland.
- Inside horrifying ‘torture chambers’ set up by Russian troopsRussian troops based in Bucha allegedly set up torture chambers where the executed bodies of Ukrainian civilians were found, reports have claimed.The bodies were discovered shot in the back of the head execution-style in the basement of a building being used by the Russian army.Horror video shared by the Ukrainian military purports to show the site of the Russian torture chamber and the corpses of civilians in Bucha, a small town 35 miles northwest of Kyiv.They had been shot in the back execution-style, while at least one had been shot in the kneecaps, according to Ukrainian sources.”The occupiers set up a barracks in one room,” the video shared by Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence reads.”Civilians were shot in the next room. Their bodies are still here.”Watch the video here
- 40 Russian envoys expelled by Germany after Bucha killingsGermany has expelled 40 Russian envoys over the atrocities in Bucha, near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.Further measures with allies are being prepared, local news is reporting.Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock added that Berlin would also boost its support to Ukraine’s armed forces.
- Vladimir Putin’s mystic Neo-Nazi ‘Rasputin’ inspired Ukraine invasionRUSSIA’S invasion of Ukraine may have been inspired by the writings of a deranged Neo-Nazi mystic known as “Putin’s Rasputin” or “Putin’s Brain”.Sporting a massive bedraggled beard like his namesake, Russian thinker Aleksandr Dugin long called for an invasion of Ukraine and chillingly believes that Moscow has the right to rule over all of Europe and Asia.Dubbed a philosopher, a mystic, a political analyst and a fascist, Dugin is thought by some to hold a key influence on Putin’s Russia and his views are believed to have – at least in part – been a key influence in the thinking for the invasion.His writings – which have been required reading for Russian soldiers – proclaim a paranoid worldview that calls for Ukraine to be absorbed into Russia.And he demands Moscow control everything “from Vladivostok to Dublin”.This is a massive area that spans more than 5,000 miles and encompasses huge swathes of territory from the far east of Russia to western Europe.It is a chilling vision of what could be to come as the world watches brutal horrors continue to unfold in the war-torn cities in Ukraine.He is believed to hold a shadowy influence over Russian politics – just like Rasputin – and his ideas are even suspected to have influenced Putin.
- Red Cross ‘stopped and held’ near MariupolA team from the International Committee of the Red Cross is being held after trying to help evacuate civilians.A spokesperson for the group said: “The team was stopped on Monday while carrying out humanitarian efforts to help lead a safe passage corridor for civilians.”It is understood that the team is being held in Manhush, just under 20km from Mariupol.Jason Straziuso told Reuters that the group were being held by police and it was “not a hostage situation”.
- Russian secret police data leaked by food delivery appData belonging to some members of Russia’s secret police has been leaked after Russian food delivery service Yandex Eats faced a breach.The leak revealed user names, emails, delivery addresses, phone numbers, and food orders, according to a report from Bellingcat.Yandex Eats, a subsidiary of a Russian internet company, Yandex, blamed a “dishonest” employee for the breach, The Verge reported.About 58,000 users’ information was exposed, including an individual linked to the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, The Verge said.Bellingcat identified the name of the person linked with Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) to carry out Navalny’s poisoning after scouring a database of phone numbers collated from a previous investigation, The Verge detailed.This person also used his work email address to register with Yandex Food, allowing researchers to confirm his identity.Investigators also combed through the leaked data for phone numbers of individuals linked to Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU).In their search, they identified the name “Yevgeny” and were able to tie this person to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Russia war latest: Putin’s Bucha massacre ‘just the tip of the iceberg’ as Zelenksy calls for harder sanctions