Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, was set to address the UN Security Council on Tuesday, as international outcry over the images of corpses on the streets of Bucha continued to grow, amid growing concern that Russian troops have committed war crimes.
Zelensky is due to describe his visit to the small town of Bucha, where the bound bodies of civilians and mass graves were discovered, following the withdrawal of Russian forces from the area.
The Security Council meeting was set to convene at 1400 GMT.
The United Nations plans to have its own human rights experts investigate the killing of at least 330 civilians in Bucha.
A 50-member UN team is stationed in the western Ukrainian city of Uzhgorod, about 800 kilometres from Kiev, the UN Human Rights Office in Geneva said. No date was given for their departure.
An investigative commission of independent lawyers would also be looking into what happened, the office said.
The Ukrainian government announced earlier that it would work with the International Criminal Court, the Red Cross and the European Union to investigate crimes in Bucha and other towns.
In Paris, The French judiciary opened investigations into suspected war crimes, carried out in Ukraine against French citizens.
The anti-terrorism prosecutor’s office said that the incidents in question involved psychological assaults, deliberate attacks on civilians, and confiscation of possessions, among other things.
The incidents allegedly took place in the cities of Mariupol, Hostomel and Chernihiv.
Bucha Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk said in an interview on Tuesday that the massacre was “the Russians’ revenge for the Ukrainian resistance.”
“My people were shot for fun or out of anger,” Fedoruk told Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper. “The Russians shot at everything that moved: passers-by, people on bicycles, cars marked ‘children.'”
The Kremlin denies that Russian troops had anything to do with the killings. It has baselessly questioned the veracity of photo and video footage taken by independent media outlets in Bucha and even suggested the horrific scenes were somehow staged to implicate Russia.
Zelensky, who visited Bucha on Monday, said in a video message that “the time will come when every Russian will learn the whole truth about which of them killed their fellow citizens.”
He said Russia was likely trying to cover up its crimes elsewhere in Ukraine and repeated his demand that the West impose the toughest possible sanctions on Moscow.
The European Union and the United States have said they are preparing fresh sanctions. The European Commission proposed a bloc-wide ban on imports of Russian coal on Tuesday.
US President Joe Biden has called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes.
New York Times