U.S. President Seeks War Crimes Trial Against Russia Over Ukraine Killings
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
KYIV/BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – U.S. President Joe Biden called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday and said he’ll seek more sanctions after reported atrocities in Ukraine, though Moscow denied involvement in mass killings.
The bodies of 410 civilians were removed from Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces, Ukraine’s prosecutor-general, Iryna Venediktova, said. International journalists saw the human remains of at least 21 people in various spots around Bucha, northwest of the capital.
But Moscow on Monday denied retreating Russian forces were responsible for killing civilians near Kyiv and suggested that images of corpses are “fakes.”We categorically reject all allegations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
However, President Biden said he’d seen enough evidence implicating Putin. “You saw what happened in Bucha,” Biden told reporters. He added that Putin “is a war criminal.”
The International Criminal Court last month also launched an investigation into the allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in Ukraine.
Besides Biden, other world leaders expressed outrage over the alleged massive war crimes by Russian troops in areas of Ukraine.
Satellite images from Bucha show a 45-foot trench at a site where a mass grave has been identified, a U.S. satellite data firm revealed in separate statements.
Images captured on March 31 and released by Maxar Technologies showed what appeared to be a trench within the grounds of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints.
The company said signs of excavation could be seen in images taken as early as March 10. Worthy News could not immediately verify the images, although a team from U.S. network CNN reported seeing bodies in a mass grave at the site.
Maxar technologies say this satellite image shows a gravesite with an approximately 45-foot (13.7 meters) long trench near the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints in Bucha.
As footage emerged of the findings, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the killings were “yet more evidence” that Russia was committing war crimes in Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed, calling the scenes a “punch to the gut.”
Germany’s vice-chancellor Robert Habeck described the killings as a “terrible war crime,” France’s President Emmanuel Macron said pictures from Bucha were “unbearable.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that Putin and his backers would “feel the consequences” of their actions.
Despite the expected economic consequences, the European Union should consider a ban on gas imports from Russia, German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht said. Yet, Russia supplies around 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas, which has made Germany and other European nations reluctant to expand sanctions to target its energy sector.
But with signs of possible atrocities emerging, they were under pressure to act. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of trying to eliminate “the whole nation,” saying, “this is genocide.”
As tensions rose, Moscow demanded an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Monday. Russia is a permanent member of the 15-member body.
Dmitry Polyansky, the country’s UNSC deputy representative, said it was making the request “in light of the blatant provocation of Ukrainian radicals.”
Since the start of its invasion more than five weeks ago, Russia has denied targeting civilians, and it argued with other members of the body, trading allegations of human rights abuses with especially the U.S.
News of war crimes emerged as clashes continued in several parts of Ukraine on Sunday, including in Ukraine’s strategic port city of Odesa.
Residents woke up there early Sunday to explosions following apparent Russian missile strikes. Footage showed large plumes of black smoke in the southern port city on the Black Sea coast. Ukrainian authorities said missiles had hit “critical infrastructure,” but there were no casualties.
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