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Monday, 4 April 2022

Ukraine, UN, EU call for independent investigation, more sanctions as evidence mounts of alleged Russian war crimes

International outrage is mounting as evidence emerges of alleged war crimes by Russian soldiers in Ukraine: Images of the carnage left in the wake of the Russian military’s withdrawal from western parts of the country — including reports from the Ukrainian side of mass executions of civilians — has led to a fresh wave of condemnation and promises of consequences in the geopolitical arena.

Ukraine is requesting the International Criminal Court gather evidence of alleged war crimes by Russian troops in Bucha, according to Bloomberg. Asked to comment by the business information service, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said many of the images were “fakes and staged shots.”

Guterres calls for an independent investigation: United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a tweet that he was “deeply shocked” by the images coming out of Bucha, adding that “it is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability.”

And the EU prepares more sanctions: Further sanctions and support for Ukraine are “on their way,” European Council President Charles Michel said in a tweet, calling the images from Bucha “haunting.” New sanctions could will for now focus on “closing loopholes [and] strengthening existing actions,” including making sure Russian banks are completely cut off from the SWIFT payment system and sanctioning more individuals, Bloomberg reports citing diplomatic sources. Some members of the bloc are calling for harsher action, with Germany among those promising “further measures” to come.

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