Kiev’s war crime claim is 'a lie' – Moscow
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has rejected Ukraine’s claim that Russian troops committed war crimes in parts of the Kharkov region recently reclaimed by Kiev.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, Peskov said: “It’s the same scenario as in Bucha. It all goes according to one scenario. It’s a lie,” while pledging that Moscow “will of course defend the truth in this whole story.”
In an interview with Reuters on Friday, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky compared the scenes witnessed by Ukrainian troops in the Kharkov region to a “bloody soap opera after Bucha.”
The Ukrainian authorities, as well as Western governments and human rights groups, accused Russian forces of committing war crimes in the town of Bucha near Kiev in early April – something Moscow has vehemently denied.
Zelensky said that “as of today, there are 450 dead people” recovered from mass burial sites in the city of Izium, which was retaken by the Ukrainian military earlier this month.
The president went on to claim that “there are others, separate burials of many people. Tortured people. Entire families in certain territories.”
When asked whether Kiev can prove its claim of war crimes committed by Russian forces, Zelensky said: “there is some evidence, and assessments are being conducted, Ukrainian and international.”
Also on Friday, Oleg Sinegubov, governor of the Kharkov region, told journalists that some of the bodies exhumed in Izium had their hands tied behind their backs.
Later in the day, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters at a briefing that the mass burial site uncovered in northeast Ukraine is “part, horrifically, of a continuum, an ongoing story.”
The US diplomat also stressed the need for Ukraine and its partners to “build the evidence and document the atrocities that have been committed,” as “in many instances, these amount to war crimes.”