Ukraine is investigating at least 10 Russian soldiers accused of committing war crimes against civilians while occupying the kyiv suburb of Bucha last month, the country’s Attorney General Iryna Venediktova has announced. mentioned Thusday.
Images of civilians apparently executed in the streets and harrowing tales of torture emerged from Bucha and other Kyiv suburbs as Russian forces retreated from the Ukrainian capital last month, shocking the world and sparking calls for opening of a war crimes trial against Russia.
The six Russian officers and four soldiers under investigation are believed to be from the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade, a unit which President Vladimir Putin recently gave the honorary title of ‘guards’ for their ‘heroism and courage’ .
While stationed in Bucha, the 10 accused servicemen captured civilians, tortured them with hunger and thirst and carried out mock executions, Venediktova said in a Facebook post.
She said the charges were supported by evidence collected by Ukrainian police and other investigative units.
Venediktova said Putin’s recognition of the 64th Guards Motor Rifle Brigade indicates that the atrocities in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns were coordinated with the highest ranks of the Russian military, and said that Putin bears joint responsibility for the soldiers’ actions.
Russian troops occupied Bucha, a town west of kyiv, for a month after Putin sent troops to Ukraine on February 24.
Mayor of Bucha estimates that 20% of the city’s population was killed during the Russian occupation, with numerous reports of mass murder, rape and torture of civilians.
Russia has refuse that his forces carried out the atrocities against civilians in Bucha, instead accusing kyiv and its Western allies of staging the scenes.
Ukrainian investigators have identified more than 8,000 cases of suspected war crimes across the country since the Russian invasion, Venediktova told a German TV channel on Thursday.
“It’s actually 8,600 war crimes cases only, and more than 4,000 war crimes cases,” Venediktova told broadcaster Deutsche Welle.