In a video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for an end to Russian “war crimes”.
His speech came after reports of dozens of bodies being found in the streets and mass graves in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
“The world has already seen many war crimes. At different times. On different continents. But it is time to do everything in our power to make the war crimes of the Russian military the latest manifestation of such evil on earth,” Zelensky said.
Zelensky called on the Russian leadership to be held accountable for the actions of the national army.
“I want all the leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are carried out. such orders. Such an accomplishment. And co-responsibility. For these murders, for these tortures, for these weapons torn off by the explosions lying around in the streets. For blows to the back of the head of people bound. This is how the Russian state will henceforth be perceived. It’s your image,” Zelensky said.
In his address, Zelensky announced that a “justice mechanism” would be set up to investigate crimes committed by Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory. The mechanism would be supported by the foreign ministry, attorney general’s office, national police, security service, intelligence service and other branches of government, he said.
“This mechanism will help Ukraine and the world to bring to justice those who have started or participated in any way in this terrible war against the Ukrainian people and crimes against our people,” he said.
Zelensky said he would provide more information on the state of Ukrainian territory occupied by Russian forces.
“All partners of Ukraine will be informed in detail about what happened in the temporarily occupied territory of our state. War crimes in Bucha and other towns during the Russian occupation will also be considered by the UN Security Council on Tuesday,” he said.
He also noted that efforts are underway to restore electricity and water to Bucha, as well as to restore medical institutions and infrastructure.
Zelensky again invoked the need for stronger sanctions against Russia.
“There will definitely be a new sanctions package against Russia. But I’m sure that’s not enough. More conclusions are needed. Not only about Russia, but also about the political behavior that allowed this evil to come to our land,” he said.