US and Europe plan sanctions for Russia as Ukraine warns of further civilian deaths

US and Europe plan sanctions for Russia as Ukraine warns of further civilian deaths

US and Europe plan sanctions for Russia as Ukraine warns of further civilian deaths

  • The president of Ukraine will speak at the UNSC meeting on Tuesday
  • Hundreds of civilians killed in Bucha, Zelenskiy warns more
  • Russia denies the atrocities, says it will present “empirical” evidence.
  • Russia, focusing on the south and east, should send more troops

LVIV, Ukraine, April 5 (Reuters) – The US and Europe were planning new sanctions on Tuesday to punish Moscow for killing civilians in Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy warned more deaths are likely to be discovered in the areas. seized from the Russian invaders.

Russian forces withdrew from cities north of the capital Kiev last week as it turns its assault on southern and eastern Ukraine. Ukrainian troops recaptured cities devastated by nearly six weeks of war, including Bucha, where dead civilians lined the streets.

Burning images of a mass grave in Bucha and the bound bodies of people killed at close range sparked international outcry on Monday.

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US President Joe Biden has called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the US will ask the UN General Assembly to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council. to know more

Russia has denied any allegations relating to the murder of civilians and said it would present “empirical evidence” at a UN Security Council meeting on Tuesday, showing its forces were not involved.

In a morning video speech, Zelenskiy said he will also address the Security Council on Tuesday as he builds support for an investigation into Bucha’s murders.

“And this is just a city. One of the many Ukrainian communities that the Russian forces managed to capture,” Zelenskiy said. “Now, there is information that in Borodyanka and some other liberated Ukrainian cities, the death toll of the occupiers could be even much higher,” he added, referring to a town 25 km (16 miles) west of Bucha. . to know more

Reuters saw several bodies apparently killed at close range, along with makeshift burials and a mass grave in Bucha, but could not independently verify the death toll or who was responsible.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said he spoke with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres of Bucha and stressed “that Ukraine will use all available UN mechanisms to gather evidence and hold war criminals accountable. Russians “. to know more

Kuleba also spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in a phone call on Monday, with Beijing again calling for talks to end the conflict in Ukraine. to know more

The phone call, which Beijing says was made at Ukraine’s request, was the first high-level conversation between countries since March 1, when Kuleba asked Beijing to use its ties to Moscow to stop the invasion of Russia. , the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said at the time.

‘FEEL THE CONSEQUENCES’

Russia launched what it calls a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, with the aim of demilitarizing and “denazifying” Ukraine. Ukraine and the West say the invasion was illegal and unjustified.

Russian forces withdrew from the capital Kiev in the face of unexpectedly lethal and mobile Ukrainian resistance using Western anti-tank weapons.

Moscow painted the withdrawal as a gesture of goodwill at the peace talks, which met for the last time on Friday. The negotiators were due to meet on Monday, but neither side provided an update on the talks.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Monday that Putin and his supporters would “feel the consequences” of the Bucha events and that Western allies would agree on further sanctions against Moscow in the coming days.

Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said new US sanctions against Moscow will be announced this week. The US State Department said it is supporting an international team of prosecutors and experts to collect and analyze evidence of the atrocities. to know more

France and Germany said they would expel Russian diplomats.

Russia would respond politely and “close the door on Western embassies,” said former Russian president and deputy head of the security council Dmitry Medvedev.

“It will be cheaper for everyone. And then we will end up looking at each other in no other way than through the viewfinder.”

German Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht said the European Union must discuss a ban on Russian gas, although other officials have urged caution about measures that could trigger a European energy crisis.

Russia supplies about a third of Europe’s gas, and Putin has tried to use energy as a lever to fight Western sanctions. But Moscow has maintained gas flows through major pipeline routes to Europe, despite uncertainty over Putin’s demands for ruble payments. to know more

The United States has prevented the Russian government from paying its sovereign debt holders more than $ 600 million from reserves held at American banks, in a move intended to increase pressure on Moscow and consume its US dollar holdings. to know more

BATTLES IN THE EAST

Ukraine said it was preparing for the call of some 60,000 Russian reservists to strengthen the Moscow offensive to the east, where Russia’s main targets included the port of Mariupol and Kharkiv, the country’s second largest city.

The general staff of Ukraine said the Russian forces aimed to completely take over the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces claimed by the Russian-backed separatists and surround a group of Ukrainian forces.

“Russian troops attacked Mykolayiv with cluster munitions prohibited by the Geneva Convention. Entire blocks of civilian buildings were targeted, particularly a children’s hospital. There were dead and wounded, including children,” the general staff said in a daily update on Tuesday.

Reuters could not independently verify the claims.

In Mariupol, a southeastern city on the Sea of ​​Azov that has been under siege for weeks, Reuters images showed three bodies in civilian clothes lying in the street, one against a blood-splattered wall.

A team from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was stopped while attempting to reach Mariupol to evacuate civilians, and is now being held in a nearby town, a spokesman said Monday. to know more

To the west of Mariupol, in the city of Mykolaiv, shelling on Monday killed 10 people, including a child, and injured 46 others, regional administration chief Oleksandr Senkevich said. Reuters was not immediately able to verify the report.

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Additional reports from Reuters offices; Written by Rami Ayyub and Lincoln Feast; Editing by Michael Perry and Shri Navaratnam

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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