A new report from Human Rights Watch says the nonprofit has documented several cases of Russia committing “laws-of-war violations” against civilians in Ukraine.
The report, released Sunday, said Russian military forces have committed war crimes in Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv, including repeated rape, two cases of summary execution, and other cases of unlawful violence and threats against civilians between Feb. 27 and March 14.
Some European leaders said the killings in the Kyiv area amounted to war crimes, and the U.S. has previously said that it believes Russia has committed war crimes.
As Russian troops retreat from some areas, government officials and journalists have reported scores of dead civilians: Ukrainian officials said the bodies of 410 civilians were found in Kyiv-area towns that were recently retaken from Russian forces.
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said 280 people were buried in mass graves in Bucha, while Associated Press reporters saw the bodies of at least 21 people in various spots around the city.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said in a statement that photos and videos of dead bodies “have been stage managed by the Kyiv regime for the Western media.”
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►Germany’s defense minister floated the idea of European countries halting gas supplies from Russia in light of the alleged attacks on civilians in Bucha.
►Lithuania says it has cut itself off entirely of gas imports from Russia, apparently becoming the first of the European Union’s 27 nations using Russian gas to break its energy dependence upon Moscow.
►The UK Ministry of Defense said heavy fighting has continued in Mariupol, and that the city is “almost certainly a key objective of the Russian invasion” because it would connect Russia to the occupied territory of Crimea by land.
Zelenskyy makes impassioned speech at Grammys
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the 64th Grammy Awards Sunday, speaking in a pre-recorded segment shown at the MGM Grand Garden Arena Sunday before John Legend performed a tribute to the war-torn country.
Zelenskyy urged artists assembled to “tell our story” of a country under attack by Russian forces.
“Our musicians wear body armor instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded in hospitals,” Zelenskyy said. ‘Even to those who cannot hear them, but their music will break through.”
Zelenskyy ended the speech by listing Ukrainian cities under siege. “I have a dream of them living, and free,” he said. “Free like you and the Grammy stage.”
— Bryan Alexander
Contributing: The Associated Press