Zelenskyy Accuses Russia of Genocide for Alleged Atrocities in Ukraine as He Views Carnage in Bucha Massacre
Russia denies targeting civilians, calling their mission a ”special military operation" aimed at demilitarising and "denazifying" Ukraine, a report said.
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy calls the Russian assault on Ukraine and Bucha massacre “genocide,” according to published news reports.
Graphic and disturbing images allegedly show dead civilians, some with their hands bound behind their back and killed execution-style, lined up the streets, scattered on the road, and thrown into mass graves in the town of Bucha, in Northern Ukraine, according to CBS News. More than 300 residents have been killed, according to Bucha's mayor, CBS News reported.
A sobbing Irina Kostenko, who lives in the central Ukrainian village of Kalynivka, told a CBS News reporter that the Russians killed her only son, Oleksei.
“The pain is so bad,” said the heartbroken mother. “He was only 27 years old.”
Kostenko said she used a wheelbarrow to transport her son's body to the garden. She said she wrapped his body in a rug and placed it in a shallow grave. She said she did it by herself.
Tears streamed down her cheek, as she held up a photo of Oleski as a young boy.
“This is my child. My love. My sweetheart,” she said, as she gripped the photo and began to kiss the photo.
In another harrowing scene, four women lay dead and naked underneath a tarp on a highway outside Kyiv, and according to reports, Russians tried to burn their bodies, CBS reported. Allegations of rape against Russian troops during the invasion have also been reported, with Ukrainian officials investigating, CBS reported.
On Monday, in Motyzhyn, a village west of Kyiv, Olha Sukhenko, the head of the village, her husband, Ihor Sukhenko, and their 25-year old son, Oleksandr, were shot dead. Their partially clad bodies were in a pit covered in sand, Reuters reported.
"There have been Russian occupiers here. They tortured and murdered the whole family of the village head," Anton Herashchenko, said in part: ”The occupiers suspected they were collaborating with our military, giving us locations of where to target our artillery."
Heraschchenko added: "These scum tortured, slaughtered, and killed the whole family. They will be responsible for this.”
A woman named Daria Belenitsyna, who identified herself as Oleksandr Sukheno’s girlfriend said the family had been taken captive by Russian forces on March 23, Reuters reported.
On Sunday during an exclusive interview with CBS “Face the Nation," Zelenskyy spoke of a cease-fire. He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should withdraw all troops at the borders in order for any discussions to take place to end the war that started nearly six weeks ago when Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
"Let's simply sit down together, the two of us and we will discuss a point in time when the end of the war will come,” Zelenskyy said, pointing out that Ukraine wants to preserve its sovereignty and "our strong army,” CBS reported
On Monday, less than 24 hours later, after seeing the carnage in Bucha, the Ukrainian leader told a group of reporters that "peace talks with Russia would be difficult after the discovery of corpses of civilians," The New York Times previously reported.
"It's very hard to talk when you see what they have done here. These are war crimes and they will be recognized by the world as genocide. You are here today and can see what happened. All this talk about waiting for a trial, but it will be very slow. We will put on as much public pressure as possible. We will not pause in finding all those criminals," Zelenskyy said, the news outlet reported.
Despite the disturbing images of death and carnage among innocent civilians, the Kremlin said on Monday it categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in Bucha, CBS reported.
Russia denies targeting civilians, calling their mission a” special military operation" aimed at demilitarizing and "denazifying" Ukraine, a report said.
“This information must be seriously questioned," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters, in part, CBS reported. "From what we have seen, our experts have identified signs of video falsification and other fakes.”
Russian media is run by state-controlled media, and on Monday, Putin’s approval rating had gone up to 83% according to a recent poll, CBS reported.
This weekend, as Ukrainian forces took possession of North Kyiv, the country’s capital and largest city in Ukraine, Russian troops shifted their focus to the eastern and southern regions, the news outlet reported.
In the port city of Mariupol, one of the hardest-hit regions that has been besieged and bombarded by Russian soldiers for weeks, thousands may be dead, according to the United Nations, but the bodies cannot be counted because Mariupol is cut off, CBS reported.
On Friday, a 10-year-old boy and his 17-year-old sister were able to flee with their father. The young girl told a CBS News reporter that “there were constant bombing raids and constant explosions,” she said. “We tried not to panic. We tried to hold ourselves together.”
The Ukrainian leader called Mariupol and other Russia-controlled cities a “humanitarian disaster,” with no passage for food, water, and supplies. Russian forces have blocked evacuation efforts from the city after they had reportedly agreed to allow safe passage from the city, the news outlet reported.
"We are the citizens of Ukraine and we don't want to be subdued to the policy of the Russian Federation, and this is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated," Zelenskky said, “This is happening in ‘the Europe of the 21st century,” CBS reported.
While Zelenskyy thanked the U.S. and President Biden for their aid, he continued to urge the West to supply his country with heavier and faster equipment, including warplanes and more anti-missile systems, according to the news outlet. And, “not to forget about Ukraine.”
"We have the same values,” Zelenskyy said. “And we are fighting for freedom and we're going to win."
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