After nearly 40 days of war, the Russian military has begun withdrawing from the north of Ukraine. But in their wake, the Russian troops have left devastation, with reports of hundreds of civilians executed by the retreating Russians.
The images coming out from Ukraine are disturbing.
Ukrainian civilians are lying dead on the streets of their villages. In one instance, a Ukrainian civilian was shot dead while riding his bicycle. In another, a civilian is lying dead in a sewer, his hands and neck tied. In yet another, several civilians lie dead in a basement, shot in the head, their hands tied behind their backs.
These atrocities are a mark of an ill-disciplined army that is looking for easy targets to take out their frustration.
The U.S. has already formally accused the Russian military of committing war crimes in Ukraine and is prompting the international community to work with the International Criminal Court in an investigation of the atrocities.
Several world leaders have come out condemning the Russian atrocities.
“Photos of murdered civilians in Irpin and Bucha by Russian troops recall the mass killings by Soviet and Nazi regimes. This is not a battlefield, it’s a crime scene. Mass killings of Ukrainian civilians by Russia are clear war crimes. We need courage, moral clarity and more action to stop it. Indifference is the mother of all crimes. Evidence must be gathered, saved for trials, and perpetrators must face justice. We need a 5th round of strong EU sanctions as soon as possible. Finally, our top priority should be increased military aid to Ukraine. They need it to take back their cities and free people from Russian occupation and repression,” Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said.
War crimes aren’t new to the Russian military. It was its Soviet forefathers who committed the Katyn Massacre, one of the worst war crimes during World War Two. In March and April 1940, the Soviets military and NKVD, the Soviet secret police and predecessor of the KGB, executed approximately 22,000 Polish military officers and intellectuals over 28 days.
“Russia’s despicable attacks against innocent civilians in Irpin and Bucha are yet more evidence that Putin and his army are committing war crimes in Ukraine. No denial or disinformation from the Kremlin can hide what we all know to be the truth – Putin is desperate, his invasion is failing, and Ukraine’s resolve has never been stronger. I will do everything in my power to starve Putin’s war machine. We are stepping up our sanctions and military support, as well as bolstering our humanitarian support package to help those in need on the ground. The U.K. has been at the forefront of supporting the International Criminal Court’s investigation into atrocities committed in Ukraine and Dominic Raab [the British Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Justice] has authorised additional financial support and the deployment of specialist investigators—we will not rest until justice is served,” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a statement.
1945’s New Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.