Images of civilian bodies in Ukraine shock the world (analysis)

Washington (CNN) – “This is genocide.” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky described horrific images of at least 20 civilian bodies lying on the streets of Pucha, northwest of the Kiev capital, after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the area.

Evidence of Accused of Russian atrocitiesAfter the failed attempt to encircle the capital, their forces are retreating from the areas around Kiev, including the gruesome images of dead civilians captured by Agency France-Press.

“This is the annihilation of an entire nation and its people. We are citizens of Ukraine and we have more than 100 national races. This is the annihilation of all these national races,” Zelensky told the “Face the Nation” program on Sunday. CBS News for asking if Russia is committing genocide in Ukraine.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the details of the public death.

Inanimate bodies on the streets of Pucha in Ukraine 0:49

Russia’s answer

The Russian Defense Ministry said the pictures of the dead bodies in Pucha were “false” and that “not a single local was subjected to violence during Pucha’s Russian occupation.”

“In the settlements of the Kiev region, Russian troops provided and distributed 452 tons of humanitarian aid to civilians,” it said in a statement. In another statement, the pictures were said to be a montage.

The Russian government continues to respond with a blanket denial to allegations of civilian casualties by Russian forces.

A CNN team was able to see a mass grave

CNN reports that a mass grave has been discovered in Pucha. A CNN team found at least a dozen bodies in body bags piled up in the pit. Some were already partially closed.

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The bodies were first buried in the pit, on the grounds of St. Andrew’s and All Saints’ Byrvosvanno Church, in the early days of the war, residents told CNN. Residents said about 150 people, mostly civilians killed in fighting around the city, were buried there. The mayor of Pucha said in a public comment on Saturday that 300 victims may have been buried there. CNN could not independently verify those figures or the identities and nationalities of those buried in the pit.

‘A punch in the stomach’

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Sunday that the State Department would help document the atrocities committed by the Russian military against Ukrainian civilians.

Responding to Pucha’s statement, Blinken told CNN’s Dana Bashi on Sunday in the “State of the Union” that “these pictures are a must-see for your gut.”

Last month, the State Department formally accused Russian forces of war crimes in Ukraine.

Asked on Sunday if Russian troops were committing genocide, Blinken did not go as far as Zhelensky.

“We are going to look hard and document everything we see, and we’re going to make sure everything is necessary for the relevant companies and organizations looking at this, including the Foreign Office, to accurately assess what is happening. In Ukraine, who is responsible and what it means to the country,” he said.

Possible new investigation

A senior UN official said an “independent inquiry” into the civilian casualties in Pucha was “essential” to ensure “effective accountability”.

“I am shocked by the photos of civilians killed in Pucha, Ukraine,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement on Sunday.

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The United States may impose further sanctions

Foreign Ministry spokesman Netflix, when asked about Zhelensky’s call for increased G7 sanctions in response to the recent atrocities in Pucha, indicated that the United States would “take further action” against Russia “very soon.”

“When it comes to our sanctions, we have always said that we will continue to put pressure on President Putin, the Kremlin and all around him, including the oligarchs and allies who are instigating this selective war against Ukraine, until the violence subsides and these kinds of atrocities end. I doubt the pressure will be applied very soon, “Price told MSNBC on Sunday.

‘Not enough’

Later, in a video conference on Sunday, Zhelensky called for an end to Russian “war crimes.” Regarding the strong sanctions imposed on Russia, he said: “I firmly believe that it is not enough.”

“More decisions are needed. Not only about Russia, but also about the political behavior that allowed this evil to reach our land,” he added.

NATO Secretary General has warned that attacks will continue in Ukraine

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that this is not a “real withdrawal of Russian troops” and that attacks will continue in Ukraine.

“What we see is not a real withdrawal, but we see Russia re-establishing its forces and withdrawing some of them to re-arm, strengthen and repatriate them. In a way, we should not be optimistic that the attacks will continue,” Stoltenberg told CNN on Sunday.

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