Just as Russia agreed to reposition some of its troops from Kyiv, the Russia-Ukraine war intensified two-fold. Over the weekend, following the discovery of nearly 300 bodies lying in the street in Buca, some of which seemed to have been bound by the hands and feet before being shot. In a statement released early today on national television at the site of the atrocities, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said it has become much more challenging for his country to negotiate with Russia since becoming aware of the horrors carried out Russian troops in Ukraine.
While wearing body armor and surrounded by military personnel, Zelenskyy said to his people, “These are war crimes and will be recognized by the world as genocide,” Following Zeleskyy’s address, they proceeded to take journalists to the basement of the building and showed them the bodies of five men with their hands tied behind their backs. None of them were wearing any military gear. All of whom were innocent men. It is believed they were killed by occupying Russian soldiers before Ukraine regained control of the town.
U.S. President Joe Biden accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes and called for a trial following the disturbing images and descriptions of the mass graves and tied bodies shot at close range in Bucha, outside Kyiv, a town Ukrainian forces only just reclaimed from Russian troops. Some believe this heartless effort was put to action to galvanize both the United States and Europe to halt the never-ending sanctions being placed on Moscow. Biden said, “Putin is brutal. And what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous, and everyone’s seen it,”
The evidence of civilian murders, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, is simply the “tip of the iceberg,” as Ukrainian forces have yet to reach all locations vacated by Russian troops, demonstrating the requirement for stiffer sanctions against Moscow.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised that Putin and his supporters would “feel the consequences” of events in Bucha. The German Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht also said the European Union needed to discuss banning Russian gas, even though other officials advised caution around measures that could touch off a European energy crisis.
Since the start of tensions in January, Moscow seems to have a habit of gaslighting world leaders and journalists alike by denying any claims or questions that shifted them into the hot seat. When confronted about the killings in Bucha, the Kremlin denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians, including in Bucha, where it said Ukraine had staged the graves and corpses to tarnish Russia. That’s the most terrifying right now about Russia, its unpredictability; it terrorizes nearly everyone. To conclude, it’s safe to say that it usually means the other when Russia says one thing.
Genocide has been a term passed around the table of world leaders most of the time when Russia invades Ukraine. However, this is the first time everyone’s saying it at once. As peace talks get buried alongside the mass graves in Bucha, many hope to see even tighter sanctions get placed on Russia. Many hope that Britain, France, Germany, the United States, and NATO’s recurring unity will be strong enough to combat the unpredictability and wickedness that could potentially lie ahead.