In the town of Bucha, just outside Kyiv, the horror of what unfolded during the Russian occupation is finally coming to light.
In the basement of a building that once housed a children’s community centre, five bodies lay crumpled on the ground – five men dressed in civilian clothes, their hands bound behind their backs.
Some were shot in the head, others in the chest. They were yet to be identified, but Ukrainian officials said the men were taken hostage by Russian soldiers and executed.
“We heard them being shot,” said Vlad, one of the volunteers who carried the bodies up from the basement. “We heard mines go off in the area. Around us there are mines. We are lucky we are alive.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has promised to zealously pursue allegations of war crimes against Russian forces in occupied regions of the country.
Speaking during his nightly address to the Ukrainian people, Zelensky said investigators would do their upmost to identify the perpetrators of alleged atrocities.
“We are already doing everything possible to identify all the Russian military involved in these crimes as soon as possible,” he said.
“This will be a joint work of our state with the European Union and international institutions, in particular with the International Criminal Court.”
“All crimes of the occupiers are documented. The necessary procedural basis is provided for bringing the guilty Russian military to justice for every crime they commit.”
The Ukrainian leader added that he had discussed the status of the investigations with EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen, Polish President Andrzej Duda and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he will address an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday.
Speaking during his nightly address to the Ukrainian people, Zelensky said it is in Kyiv’s interest to have an open and transparent investigation into the alleged killing of civilians in Bucha.
“I would like to emphasise that we are interested in the most complete, transparent investigation, the results of which will be known and explained to the entire international community,” Zelensky said.