Images out of Bucha, Ukraine, showing streets lined with the dead bodies of civilians have stunned the world, and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Monday this is just the "tip of the iceberg."
Ukrainian troops discovered the bodies in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, over the weekend, after Russian troops pulled back from the city. While Russia's Ministry of Defense claimed the bodies were "a hoax" and placed in the streets after the withdrawal, satellite imagery shows that many of the bodies were there more than three weeks ago, when Russia occupied the city, The New York Times reports.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky traveled to Bucha on Monday, and said he wanted the press to show "the world what happened here. What the Russian military did. What the Russian Federation did in peaceful Ukraine. It was important for you to see that these were civilians." He accused Russia of committing "genocide" and "war crimes," and said there were bodies "found in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured."
Late Monday, Zelensky said Ukrainian officials have "information" indicating mass killings took place in other Kyiv suburbs, including Borodyanka, about 15 miles west of Bucha. Borodyanka is no longer under Russian control, and Ukraine's prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, said the carnage there is higher than elsewhere. "In terms of human casualties, the worst situation is in Borodyanka," she said, according to the Kyiv Independent. "There's a lot to process."
Earlier Monday, Kuleba spoke in Warsaw about the situation in Mariupol, the port city that has been surrounded by Russian troops for weeks. Residents there continue to live without electricity, clean water, or enough food and medicine, and local officials say the constant shelling by Russian forces has killed so many civilians that they have been forced to bury them in mass graves.
"I can tell you without exaggeration but with great sorrow that the situation in Mariupol is much worse compared to what we've seen in Bucha and other towns and villages nearby Kyiv," Kuleba said. He demanded world leaders impose the "most severe sanctions this week" against Russia, adding, "this is the plea of the victims of the rapes and killings. If you have doubts about sanctions, go to Bucha first."