Mass graves with civilians tied up and “bullet holes in the back of their heads” have been found in areas where Russian troops are retreating, the Ukrainian government says.
The spokesman for the occupied country’s president revealed the full horror uncovered as Vladimir Putin’s troops abandon attempts to capture Kyiv in nearby cities like Bucha.
“These pictures are truly heartbreaking,” said Sergey Nikiforov, Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s spokesman, condemning the “sheer brutality” that was exposed.
“We found mass graves full of civilians. We found people with their hands and legs tied and bullet holes in the back of their heads.
“They were clearly civilians and were executed. We found half-burned bodies, as if someone tried to cover up the crimes, but actually they didn’t have enough time to get it right.”
Mr Nikiforov added: “What struck me the most is the dead person next to a bicycle and you clearly don’t ride a bicycle to attack Russian troops.
“So it’s just very difficult to understand why this is happening, this pure brutality? There is no military need to do any of this.”
When asked if it was “war crimes,” the announcer replied, “I have to be very careful with my words, but it looks exactly like war crimes.”
The comments came as Ukrainian troops entered Bucha, a town 15 miles northwest of the capital, and at least 20 dead men lay in the street, the BBC reported.
The city’s mayor said they buried 280 people in mass graves – while some of the few civilians who stayed and survived enjoyed their “first bread in 38 days”.
Human Rights Watch said it had documented several cases of “violations of martial law” against civilians in the occupied territories of Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv.
“The cases we have documented amount to unspeakable, premeditated cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians,” said Hugh Williamson, his director for Europe and Central Asia.
Melinda Simmons, the British Ambassador to Ukraine, condemned Russia for using rape as a “weapon of war” following other reports of the brutality committed.
It was clearly part of Russia’s “arsenal,” she said, tweeting: “Women were raped in front of their children, girls in front of their families, as a willful act of submission. Rape is a war crime.”
Secretary of State Liz Truss said the government “will not rest” until those responsible for the “atrocities” in Ukraine are brought to justice.
“The UK will fully support any investigation by the International Criminal Court in its role as the primary institution mandated to investigate and prosecute war crimes,” she said.
“We will not rest until those responsible for atrocities, including military commanders and individuals in the Putin regime, are brought to justice.”