Russian tanks litter Bucha after their retreat having been ambushed by Ukrainian forces 060422 CREDIT Emile Ghessen.jpg
Russian tanks litter Bucha after their retreat having been ambushed by Ukrainian forces (Picture: Emile Ghessen).
Russia

Putin spokesman admits 'significant losses' for Russia but denies war crimes

Russian tanks litter Bucha after their retreat having been ambushed by Ukrainian forces 060422 CREDIT Emile Ghessen.jpg
Russian tanks litter Bucha after their retreat having been ambushed by Ukrainian forces (Picture: Emile Ghessen).

A spokesman for the Russian president has admitted Russia has suffered "significant losses" in Ukraine but dismissed evidence of war crimes in Bucha.

In his first broadcast interview with Western media, Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for President Vladimir Putin, said Russia hopes "this operation" will reach its goals "in the coming days".

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Peskov described the reports of civilian executions in Bucha as a "well-staged insinuation, nothing else".

The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Bucha accused Russian forces of committing genocide

Anatoliy Fedoruk said he had personally counted 21 people who appeared to have been shot, labelling their deaths as an "abuse of civilians". 

Putin's spokesman, however, distanced Russia from the atrocity, telling Sky News: "We deny the Russian military can have something in common with these atrocities and that dead bodies were shown on the streets of Bucha."

He added that "we're living in days of fakes and lies" and said the verified photos and satellite images of dead civilians in the streets of Ukrainian cities were in fact a "bold fake".

The mayor of the Ukrainian port city Mariupol recently put the number of civilians killed there at more than 5,000.

Anatoliy Fedoruk went on to say that the city of Mariupol is going to be "liberated from nationalistic battalions" and hopes it will "happen sooner rather than later."

British defence officials have said 160,000 people remained trapped in the city, which had a pre-war population of 430,000.

Watch: Russian forces accused of genocide in Ukraine.

In the Sky News interview, Mr Peskov pressed that it was not a war but, in fact, a "special military operation", required because Ukraine has been an "anti-Russian centre" since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea.

Mr Peskov was asked about the potential of Russia collaborating in the investigation of war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC), and he responded by saying that Moscow does not recognise the court and would only take part in "objective" inquiries.

He did, however, offer the suggestion that Russia is looking at a way in which to end this war.

He said: "Our military are doing their best to bring an end to that operation.

"And we do hope that in coming days, in the foreseeable future, this operation will reach its goals or will finish it by the negotiations between Russian and Ukrainian delegation."

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