Apr 4, 2022 - World

EU to hit Russia with fresh sanctions after Bucha killings

People react as they gather close to a mass grave in the town of Bucha, just northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on April 3.

People gather near a mass grave in the city of Bucha, just northwest of Ukraine's capital, Kyiv, on April 3. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union announced Monday it's working on further sanctions against Russia's government "as a matter of urgency" following allegations that Russian forces committed war crimes in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine.

What they're saying: The EU's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said in a statement that the 27-nation bloc "condemns in the strongest possible terms" the "reported atrocities."

  • "Haunting images of large numbers of civilian deaths and casualties, as well as destruction of civilian infrastructures show the true face of the brutal war of aggression Russia is waging against Ukraine and its people," Borrell said.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted Sunday that the U.S. "strongly condemns" the "apparent atrocities by Kremlin forces in Bucha and across Ukraine," adding: "We are pursuing accountability using every tool available, documenting and sharing information to hold accountable those responsible."

The big picture: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a televised address late Sunday after a mass grave was discovered and bodies were found strewn on the streets of Bucha, some with their hands tied behind their back, that what happened in the city, northwest of Kyiv, and elsewhere in Ukraine was a war crime.

  • French President Emmanuel Macron concurred with this assessment on Sunday in an interview with the broadcaster France Inter and said more sanctions were needed in response to the latest allegations of war crimes.

Meanwhile, the prime ministers of Poland and Spain separately repeated Zelensky's earlier allegations that Putin's forces were committing "genocide" in Ukraine and demanded a global investigation, per AFP.

For the record: The Kremlin denies Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.

  • Russia's chief investigator on Monday ordered an investigation into what he described as Ukrainian "provocation" following Kyiv's allegations that Russian forces massacred civilians in Bucha, according to Reuters.

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