CNN has not been able to independently confirm the details around the men’s deaths.
Russia responds. The Russian Ministry of Defense claimed the extensive footage of dead bodies in Bucha was “fake,” saying “not a single local resident suffered from any violent actions,” during Russia’s occupation of Bucha.
“In the settlements of the kyiv region, Russian military personnel delivered and issued 452 tons of humanitarian aid to civilians,” it said in a statement. A separate statement claimed the footage was staged.
The Russian government has consistently responded to allegations of civilian casualties inflicted by Russian forces with blanket denials.
Bodies were first buried in the grave, on the grounds of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints, in the first days of the war, residents told CNN. Around 150 people, mostly civilians killed in the fighting around the town, are buried there, residents said. The mayor of Bucha said in public remarks on Saturday that there could be up to 300 victims buried on site. CNN was unable to independently verify those numbers or the identities and nationalities of those buried in the grave.
‘A punch to the gut.’ US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that the State Department would help document any atrocities the Russian military committed against Ukrainian civilians.
Asked Sunday whether Russian troops were committing genocide, Blinken didn’t go as far as Zelensky.
“We will look hard and document everything that we see, put it all together, make sure that the relevant institutions and organizations that are looking at this, including the State Department, have everything they need to assess exactly what took place in Ukraine, who’s responsible and what it amounts to,” he said.
New investigation coming? The top UN official said an “independent investigation” into the civilians killed in Bucha is “essential” to ensure “effective accountability.”
“I am deeply shocked by the images of civilians killed in Bucha, Ukraine,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement Sunday.
“When it comes to our sanctions, we’ve always said that we will continue applying pressure on President Putin, on the Kremlin, on all of those around him including oligarchs and cronies who are empowering this war of choice against Ukraine, until and unless the Kremlin deescalates, until and unless the violence diminishes, and until and unless these kinds of atrocities come to an end. So I suspect you will very soon see additional pressure applied,” Price told MSNBC on Sunday.
“More conclusions are needed. Not only about Russia, but also about the political behavior that actually allowed this evil to come to our land,” he added.
Expect the attacks to continue. This is not a “real withdrawal of Russian forces,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, warning that attacks in Ukraine will continue.