Putin Denies War Crimes in Mariupol and Bucha Massacre in Meeting with UN Secretary-General – During a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in Moscow on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that Russian troops were responsible for the massacre of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha.
President Putin, who expressed a desire to reach a peace agreement with Ukraine, insisted that footage of dead Ukrainian civilians lining the streets and others dumped in mass graves was manufactured by hostile nations to make Russia look bad.
“There was a provocation in the village of Bucha, which the Russian army had nothing to do with,” Putin told Guterres.
“We know who prepared this provocation, by what means, and what kind of people worked on it.”
Putin Also Shifts Blame on Cause of Conflict
Putin also shifted blame to the West over his decision to launch the so-called “special military operation” in Ukraine, arguing that it would not have taken place without the “anti-state coup” that overturned the election of a pro-Kremlin Ukrainian president in 2014.
Nonetheless, Putin said that he was “aware” of the United Nations’ concerns about the military offensive in Ukraine and that he would be willing to discuss it.
Putin agreed in principle during the meeting to allow the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to assist in the evacuation of civilians trapped in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol. The promise, however, may be hard for some to believe given the Russian military’s repeated sabotage of humanitarian corridors in Ukraine.
Ukraine Says Putin Ordered Bucha War Crimes
Speaking to Euronews last week, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said that investigators are determined to hold Russian officials to account for the war crimes that are believed to have been committed in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
“We see facts of torture, when we open the mass graves, with civilians. They were shot, their arms tied in the back of their bodies,” Iryna Venediktova told Euro News.
“We have facts of sexual crimes against civilians, not only against women and even against men, children, and old women.”
Venediktova also said that Ukrainian investigators are in possession of evidence that thousands of Ukrainians were forcibly deported to Russia from the region, including children.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.