Leaders around the world are strongly condemning Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian forces following the horrific images of civilian casualties in Bucha, Ukraine.
Some leaders label Putin a “war criminal” and consider the violence that occurred in the city of Bucha to be “genocide.”
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has repeatedly accused Russian forces of committing genocide in his country, other leaders have stopped in their tracks. The claim carries complex legal weight and investigations into war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces are ongoing.
However, evidence of civilian deaths in Bucha at the hands of Russian forces has drawn worldwide condemnation and triggered new responses from the West.
Here is how some leaders are reacting to reports of civilian casualties coming out of Bucha:
polish president Andrzej Duda on Wednesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal and said no world leader should speak to him again after the many “massacres” carried out by Russian forces in Ukraine, including violence in the city of Bucha, of which he said: “meet the characteristics of a genocide”.
“We hear about the denazification of Ukraine, it is nonsense, garbage, blatant Russian propaganda that is looking for a false pretext to carry out a massacre and kill people, and the fact that civilians are being killed shows better what is the goal of the invasion. Russia is: to extinguish the Ukrainian nation,” Duda told CNN’s Dana Bash in an interview in Warsaw.
The Polish leader said the scenes from Ukraine have not been seen since World War II and echo the “same pattern of Soviet crimes”, adding that Moscow committed war crimes not only in Bucha “but in the whole of Ukraine”.
“I hope that no one in the international community, after what we have seen in Ukraine, ever speaks to Vladimir Putin again. I hope no one considers him simply a decent and fair leader or politician,” he said.
France He called the death of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine, “a new step in horror” and promised to ensure that such an act “does not go unpunished.”
France is also in favor of a tougher sanctions regime against Russia, French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said during a news conference on Wednesday.
“After these massacres, we must go further,” he said. “President [Macron] He has told President Zelensky that we have no taboos in terms of sanctions, and reiterated that we are ready for drastic measures on Russian coal and oil imports.”
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson He suggested that the atrocities committed by Russia in the Ukrainian city of Bucha and elsewhere are close to resembling “genocide” and promised that more sanctions are on the way.
“I’m afraid when you look at what’s going on in Bucha, the revelations we’re seeing of what [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has done in Ukraine, which, as you know, doesn’t look very much like genocide to me, no wonder people respond the way they do,” Johnson told reporters today.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid described the killings in Bucha, outside kyiv, as “war crimes”.
“Once again, a large and powerful country has invaded a smaller neighbor without any justification,” tweeted. “Once again, the ground is drenched with the blood of innocent civilians. The images and testimonies from Ukraine are horrific. Russian forces committed war crimes against a defenseless civilian population. I strongly condemn these war crimes.”
As has been the case since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Lapid’s comments, made for the first time while speaking to his Greek and Cypriot counterparts, contrasted sharply with those of Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. While Bennett also condemned the Bucha killings, he did not blame Russia.
“We are shocked by the horrific images coming out of Bucha, terrible scenes, and we strongly condemn them,” Bennett said after addressing Israeli soldiers in the West Bank. “The images are very harsh. The suffering faced by the Ukrainian people is enormous and we are doing everything we can to help.”
Ambassador of India to the United Nations condemned the killings of civilians in the kyiv suburb of Bucha, marking a notable shift in the public focus of Indian officials on the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, its long-time partner.
TS Tirumurti, India’s permanent representative to the UN, called the reports of the killings “deeply disturbing” during a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday.
“We unequivocally condemn these murders and support the call for an open investigation,” Tirumurti said, without naming Russia.
“The situation in Ukraine has not shown any significant improvement since the last time the Council discussed the issue. The situation has only gotten worse, as well as its humanitarian consequences,” he said.