Publisher Note: We warn that there are confusing images in this story.
Live, Ukraine (CNN) –– There are at least 20 civilian bodies on a street in the city of Pucha. Near Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Some lay face down on the sidewalk, others fell on their backs, mouths open and sadly witnessed Russian occupation.
A man’s hands are tied with a white cloth behind his back. Another man was lying alone, stuck on a bicycle on a grassy shore. A third person was left in the middle of the road, near the burnt remnants of a burning car.
Shocking pictures of the massacre in Pucha were taken this Saturday by Agencies France-Press. On the same day Ukraine announced the liberation of the city from Russian troops. Now, accounts of alleged atrocities by Russian forces are beginning to emerge When they retreat From the vicinity of Kiev, after a failed attempt to encircle the capital.
The city of Pucha has been under constant attack for five weeks. Now officials and human rights groups are blaming Russian casualties on Russian forces leaving the city.
“His hands are tied behind his back”
“The bodies of the victims are still lined up on Yabluska Street in Pucha.
Ukrainian Presidential Adviser Oleksiy Arestovych on Sunday, reports from cities in the Kyiv region “Post Apocalyptic Image” Life under Russian occupation.
“This is a special request to draw the world’s attention to the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Russian troops in Pucha, Irbin and Hostommel,” he said. “These are liberated cities, a film from horror, a post-apocalyptic film,” he added.
“Those who tried to burn the raped women, local government officials were killed, children were killed, the elderly were killed, men were killed, many were handcuffed, and victims of these war crimes have already been found, including traces of torture and gunfire. Of course, this will be considered by the Ukrainian Attorney’s Office and law enforcement agencies and the International Criminal Court. “
CNN could not independently confirm the details of the men’s deaths. CNN has sought comments from the Russian Defense Ministry on allegations of civilian executions in the Kyiv region and elsewhere in Ukraine.
Complaints from Human Rights Watch
Evidence of apparent atrocities in Pucha has emerged following Human Rights Watch’s report that it has documented allegations of war crimes in the occupied territories of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv regions.
The Human Rights Commission this Sunday reported that “once-again rape cases; two illegal executions – one for six men, one for another man – and other illegal violence and threats against civilians. February 27 and March 14, 2022”.
In Pucha, HRW wrote that on March 4, Russian forces “rounded up five people and hanged one of them illegally.” One person who testified to the human rights group said the military made men kneel on the road, pull their shirts over their heads and shoot someone in the back of the head.
The HRW reports that on February 27, six people were rounded up and then hanged in the village of Starry Pykiv in the Chernihiv region.
The victim told HRW that on March 13 in the village of Malaya Rohan in the Kharkiv region, a Russian soldier repeatedly raped a girl at the school where he was staying with his family. “He beat her and cut her face, neck and hair with a knife,” HRW wrote. The woman fled to Kharkiv the next day, saying “she was able to get medical treatment and other services.”
“The cases we record are tantamount to deliberate cruelty and violence.”
In Worcester, 50 kilometers northwest of Kiev, Russian soldiers “fired a smoke bomb into a cellar and then shot a woman and a 14 – year – old boy as they exited the cellar where they had taken refuge,” he said.
“The cases we are registering are deliberate and unspeakable atrocities and violence against Ukrainian citizens,” Hugh Williamson, HRW’s director for Europe and Central Asia, said in a statement. “Rape, murder and other acts of violence against detainees by Russian forces should be investigated as war crimes,” he added.
CNN did not independently verify the details of the HRW report and sought feedback from the Russian Defense Ministry.
EU Council President Charles Michael has promised new sanctions against Russia. In that regard, he said in a post on Twitter, “The shocking images of atrocities committed by the Russian military in the liberated area of Kiev #BuchaMassacre shocked itself.”
Joseph Borel, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, also expressed his shock at the “news of atrocities committed by Russian forces.”
“[La] The European Union is helping Ukraine document war crimes. All cases must be investigated by CIJ_ICJ [la Corte Internacional de Justicia]Borel tweeted this Sunday. “The European Union will continue to strongly support Ukraine.”
Tara John and Nathan Hodge both reported from CNN to Lviv. Johnny Hallam reported from Atlanta. Amy Cassidy in London and James Frater in Brussels.