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Bucha: Bodies litter street in Kyiv suburb as Ukraine accuses Russia of war crimes

A man’s hands are tied behind his back with a piece of white cloth. Another man is lying alone, tangled in a bicycle near a grassy embankment. A third man lies in the middle of the road, near the charred remains of a burnt-out car.

The shocking footage of Bucha’s carnage was captured by Agence France-Presse on Saturday, the same day Ukraine declared the town liberated from Russian troops. Tales of alleged Russian atrocities are emerging as its forces retreat from areas near kyiv following a failed attempt to encircle the capital.

Bucha City endured five weeks of near-constant firefights. Now officials and rights groups are blaming civilian deaths on dead Russian forces.

“Corpses of executed people still line Yabluska Street in Bucha. Their hands are tied behind their backs with white ‘civilian’ rags, they were shot in the back of the neck. So you can imagine what kind of anarchy they perpetrated here,” Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk told Reuters on Saturday.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said on Sunday that reports from towns in the Kyiv region revealed a “post-apocalyptic picture” of life under Russian occupation.

“This is a special appeal to draw the world’s attention to these war crimes, crimes against humanity, which were committed by Russian troops in Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel,” Arestovitch said. “It’s liberated cities, a horror movie image, a post-apocalyptic image.”

“Victims of these war crimes have already been found, including women raped whom they attempted to burn, local government officials killed, children killed, elderly people killed, men killed, many of whom had the bound hands, traces of torture and a bullet in the back of the head. Thefts, attempts to take gold, valuables, carpets, washing machines. This will of course be taken into account by the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, law enforcement and international criminal courts.

CNN was unable to independently confirm details of the men’s deaths. CNN has requested comment from the Russian Defense Ministry regarding allegations of civilian executions in the Kyiv region and other parts of Ukraine.

Evidence of apparent atrocities in Bucha came when Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced that it had documented allegations of war crimes in occupied areas of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv regions.

The rights group said Sunday that the allegations include “a case of repeated rape; two cases of summary execution, one of six men, the other of one man; and other instances of unlawful violence and threats against civilians between February 27 and March 14, 2022.”

In Bucha, Russian forces “rounded up five men and summarily executed one of them” on March 4, HRW wrote. A witness told the rights group that soldiers forced the men to kneel in the road and pulled their shirts over their heads, before shooting one of the men in the back of the head.

HRW also alleges that on February 27, six men were arrested in the village of Staryi Bykiv in the Chernihiv region and then executed.

In Malaya Rohan, a village in the Kharkiv region, a Russian soldier repeatedly raped a woman at a school where she had taken refuge with her family on March 13, the victim told HRW. “She said he beat her and cut her face, neck and hair with a knife,” HRW wrote. The woman fled to Kharkiv the following day, “where she was able to receive medical treatment and other services”.

Bucha: Bodies litter street in Kyiv suburb as Ukraine accuses Russia of war crimes

And in the village of Vorzel, 50 km northwest of kyiv, Russian soldiers “threw a smoke grenade into a basement, then shot a woman and a 14-year-old child as they came out of the basement. -soil, where they had taken refuge”. said HRW.

“The cases we have documented represent unspeakable and deliberate cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians,” Hugh Williamson, HRW’s Europe and Central Asia director said in the statement. “Rapes, murders and other acts of violence against persons detained by Russian forces must be investigated as war crimes.”

CNN has not independently verified the details of HRW’s report and has requested comment from the Russian Defense Ministry.

European Union Council President Charles Michel promised new sanctions on Russia, saying he was “shocked by the haunting images of atrocities committed by the Russian military in the liberated region of kyiv #BuchaMassacre”, in a message on Twitter.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, also expressed his shock at “the announcement of atrocities committed by Russian forces”.

“[The] The EU helps Ukraine to document war crimes. All cases should be prosecuted, including by @CIJ_ICJ [the International Court of Justice]“, Borrell tweeted on Sunday. “The EU will continue to strongly support Ukraine.”

CNN’s Tara John and Nathan Hodge reported from Lviv. Jonny Hallam reported from Atlanta. Amy Cassidy in London and James Frater reported from Brussels.

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