Iukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will speak on Tuesday April 5 before the UN Security Council, after the discovery of massacres attributed to Russian forces near kyiv, and in particular in Boutcha where he went on Monday.
The leader, who denounced “war crimes” and “genocide” after the update of dozens of corpses wearing civilian clothes in Boutcha and other localities near the Ukrainian capital, will intervene before the Security Council for the first time since the invasion of his country by Russia, indicated the United Kingdom which currently chairs this body of the United Nations.
In a video broadcast overnight from Monday to Tuesday, Volodymir Zelensky confirmed this intervention, which we do not know if it will take place live or delayed. “The time will come when every Russian will learn the whole truth about who among their compatriots killed. Who gave the orders, ”he said in this video, calling for tougher sanctions against Moscow and more arms to be delivered to his country.
“Women were raped and children killed”
Earlier Monday, he had gone to Boutcha where dozens of corpses were found in this small town located about thirty kilometers northwest of kyiv, after the withdrawal of Russian forces.
“You are here and you can see what happened. We know that thousands of people have been killed and tortured, have had their limbs torn, women have been raped and children killed,” he said at an impromptu press briefing, after walking a few meters in a downtown street, littered with the shredded carcasses of Russian personnel carriers and armored vehicles, amid destroyed houses.
According to the Ukrainian president, 300 people, “only in Boutcha, were killed and tortured”. Russia denied any responsibility, assuring Monday that it was going to present “documents” showing, according to it, the “true nature” of the events which took place in Boutcha.
Putin will be “accountable”
The discovery of these “war crimes” has provoked the indignation of Ukraine’s Western allies who have promised new sanctions “this week” against Russia. “He must be accountable,” US President Joe Biden said on Monday of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, repeating that he considered him a “war criminal”.
The National Security Advisor of the White House, Jake Sullivan, indicated for his part that the discussions related in particular to possible measures “related to energy”, a very sensitive subject for Europeans, very dependent on Russian gas. Germany thus clarified on Monday that it could not do without deliveries of Russian gas “in the short term”, through the voice of its Minister of Finance, Christian Lindner.
The United States banned the import of Russian oil and gas shortly after the invasion of Ukraine, but not the EU, which was sourcing around 40% from Russia in 2021. The President of the European Parliament , Roberta Metsola, had earlier called on the leaders of the 27 to introduce “binding embargoes” on Russian energy imports.
The Europeans also reacted by announcing the concerted expulsion of dozens of Russian diplomats. Germany has thus decided to expel “a large number” of Russian diplomats, 40 according to information from Agence France Presse. This “unfriendly” expulsion will “deteriorate” relations with Russia, reacted Moscow.
EU investigates war crimes
France will expel 35 Russian diplomats “whose activities are contrary to (its) interests”, we learned Monday from a source close to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Lithuania announced the same day the expulsion of the Russian ambassador to this Baltic country “in response to Russia’s military aggression against sovereign Ukraine and the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces”.
The EU is also setting up a “joint team with Ukraine to (…) investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity”, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. who spoke Monday with Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the latter. The EU wants to join forces with the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has been investigating allegations of war crimes in Ukraine since March 3. After the Russian withdrawal around kyiv, Ukraine is now preparing for a “massive attack” in the Lugansk region in eastern Ukraine, its governor, Serguiï Gaïdaï, announced on Monday.
“We see that equipment is coming from different directions, that they (the Russians) bring men, that they bring fuel (…). We understand they are preparing for a massive attack,” he said in a video message. And while waiting for the Russian steamroller, the Donbass under Ukrainian control is emptying of its population. Women, children, the elderly … There were hundreds this weekend and this beginning of the week waiting for their train at the station of Kramatorsk, the regional capital in fact, since October 2014, of the territory still under the control of kyiv.
Two-thirds of the Russian forces that had occupied the kyiv region since the start of the invasion have retreated to Belarus, a senior Pentagon official said on Monday, saying it is likely a reorganization ahead of another assault elsewhere. in Ukraine.
More than 4 million Ukrainians have fled their country
And for the White House, this new phase of the war in Ukraine “could last for months or more”. Russia “is in the process of repositioning its forces to focus its offensive on eastern and parts of southern Ukraine”. “She tried to submit all of Ukraine and failed,” Jake Sullivan said on Monday. According to the National Security Advisor at the White House, “Moscow will continue airstrikes and missile fire on the rest of the country to cause military and economic damage and also, clearly, to sow terror”.
The inhabitants of the Ukrainian capital who fled the Russian invasion were called on Monday by its mayor Vitali Klitschko not to return there for “at least a week”, Russian bombings could still, according to him, occur there. During the night from Monday to Tuesday, warning sirens sounded in Kharkiv, the country’s second city, and the governor of the Mykolaiv region (south), Vitaly Kim, denounced Monday evening the bombardment of a hospital in this city, the last lock on the road to Odessa, the largest port in Ukraine. Ten civilians were killed and at least 46 injured in shelling on Mykolaiv, its mayor, Oleksandr Senkevich, said earlier on Monday.
In Mariupol, another besieged city in southern Ukraine, a Red Cross team responsible for evacuating civilians was “detained” by the police in a nearby town under Russian control, a doorman said on Monday. – word of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). According to the mayor of this port city, Vadim Boïtchenko, some 130,000 people are still present there, in a catastrophic humanitarian situation. The city, which had nearly half a million inhabitants before the war, is “90%” destroyed and “40%” of its infrastructure is beyond repair,” he added.
More than 4.2 million Ukrainian refugees have fled their country since the invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on February 24, according to figures from the High Commissioner for Refugees published on Monday.