Offenders will be punished, say authorities
The world must pay attention to the numerous crimes against humanity committed by Russian troops in Bucha, Irpen and Gostomel, said Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President’s Office.
“These cities are a picture from horror movies. Among the victims already found are raped women who were tried to burn, killed local government officials, children, men, many of whom have their hands tied, traces of torture. Killed in the back of the head,” he said.
According to him, “this will be taken into account by the Prosecutor’s Office of Ukraine, law enforcement agencies and international criminal courts.”
Volodymyr Zelensky visited Bucha and talked to locals. Responding to a question from the BBC on whether it was still possible to talk peace with Russia, Mr Zelensky said: “Yes, because Ukraine must have peace. We are in Europe in the 21st Century. We will continue efforts diplomatically and militarily.”
Executions, part of Putin’s plans
The head of UK secret intelligence MI6 Richard Moore said Vladimir Putin planned the ‘summary executions’ being uncovered in parts of Ukraine that were occupied by Russian forces. In a tweet, he noted that the organized mass killing formed part of “Putin's invasion plans.” “The reports of execution-style killings of civilians emerging from liberated areas are horrifying and chilling”.
“Appalled by atrocities in Bucha and other towns in Ukraine. Reports of Russian forces targeting innocent civilians are abhorrent. The UK is working with others to collect evidence and support ICC war crimes investigation. Those responsible will be held to account,” wrote on Twitter UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.
What should Russia do with Ukraine?
RIA Novosti, Russia’s state-run news agency, published an article entitled “What should Russia do with Ukraine”. It said that denazification is necessary when a significant part of the people – most likely the majority – has been mastered and drawn into the Nazi policy in its politics. Ukraine is in just such a situation.
“The Nazis who took up arms should be destroyed to the maximum on the battlefield. There should be no significant differences between the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the so-called national battalions, as well as the territorial defense that joined these two types of military formations. All of them are equally involved in extreme cruelty against the civilian population, equally guilty of the genocide of the Russian people, do not comply with the laws and customs of war.”
The Republic of Moldova, next target?
In a video address to the Romanian Parliament, Volodymyr Zelensky said that if the Ukrainian army and people hadn’t defended themselves, Russian forces would have carried out massacres all over Ukraine just like they did in Bucha. “Each of you understands that Ukraine is not the last target of Russian aggression. Troops of occupiers are stubbornly trying to bypass our city of Mykolaiv to try to seize Odesa. And from Odesa there is one step to Moldova. Russian state propagandists have long said that Moldova is also a target for Russian expansion. Therefore, the defense of Ukrainians of their own state is a fundamental prerequisite for security and independence of Moldova. And therefore a prerequisite for peace in the whole large region of the Danube,” noted Zelensky.
What Moldova’s neutrality in times of war means?
President Maia Sandu said she “was shocked at the brutality against civilians. Moldova strongly condemns these crimes against humanity, this illegal and unprovoked war against Ukraine.” The official declared April 4 a day of mourning for all lives lost in the war in Ukraine. The Moldovan Parliament’s sitting started with a moment’s silence observed in memory of the victims of the Russo-Ukrainian war.
Who said that Ukrainians are not a nation?
Anders Aslund, a Swedish economist and former Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, tried to explain Russia’s behavior: “For many years, it has been obvious that the Kremlin holds Ukraine in contempt and lacks even a rudimentary understanding of modern Ukrainian realities. This culture of ignorance fueled by imperial arrogance has now paved the way for one of the greatest military disasters of the modern era.
“Ukraine’s national origins can be traced back for over a thousand years, but Vladimir Putin refuses to acknowledge that Ukraine is a nation at all. Instead, he disavows its history, language, culture, and religious traditions while publicly insisting that Ukrainians are in fact Russians. Since he does not accept Ukraine’s right to exist, his entire understanding of the country is hopelessly distorted.”
Without mentioning “Mallorussia” (small Russia) project
Britain’s Defense Ministry considers Mariupol is the key target of the Russian invasion forces as the control over this city will ensure a land corridor to Crimea. The city continues to resist the attacks, with the Ukrainian forces maintaining control in the central parts.
Earlier, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said he wanted to lead a humanitarian mission into the besieged city of Mariupol, but an agreement on the mission with Russia could not be reached.
Lithuania expels ambassador, closes Russian consulate
Russia’s Ambassador to Lithuania will have to leave the country due to a downgrading of diplomatic relations amid the war in Ukraine, the foreign ministry announced on Monday.
On the same day, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis announced on Twitter that Lithuania’s Ambassador to Ukraine would head back to Kyiv.
In response to the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the government also closed down the Consulate General of Russia in Klaipėda.
On March 18, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia expelled 10 Russian diplomats. In response, Russia on March 29 announced the expulsion of 10 diplomats from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Germany decided to expel 40 Russian diplomats.