Six charred bodies piled together were being investigated on Tuesday in Bucha, the town outside of Kyiv where graphic evidence of killings and torture has emerged following the withdrawal of Russian forces.
It was not clear who the people were or under what circumstances they were killed. One of the bodies was smaller than the others, likely a child, said Andrii Nebytov, head of police in the Kyiv region. One of the bodies had a gunshot wound to the head.
The pile of bodies seen by Associated Press journalists was just off a residential street, near a colorful and empty playground, and was visible to passersby as they warily went outdoors to collect aid.
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“It’s horrible,” said Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky at the scene, which included other journalists. The minister said Russian President Vladimir Putin should “go to hell.”
Dozens of dead bodies around Bucha, where Russian forces withdrew in the past week. The images of some of the bodies with their arms bound have horrified the world. Many victims seen by AP appeared to have been shot at close range, some in the head. At least two had their hands tied.
Ukrainian officials have said the bodies of at least 410 civilians have been found in towns around Kyiv that were recaptured from Russian forces in recent days. The Ukrainian prosecutor-general’s office has described one room discovered in Bucha as a “torture chamber.”
The grisly images of battered or burned bodies left out in the open or hastily buried has led to calls for tougher sanctions against the Kremlin, especially a cutoff of fuel imports from Russia. Germany and France reacted by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, suggesting they were spies, and U.S. President Joe Biden said Putin should be tried for war crimes.
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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy this week left Kyiv for his first reported trip since the war began nearly six weeks ago to see for himself what he called the “genocide” and “war crimes” in Bucha.