Ukraine

Eyewitnesses say civilians tortured and shot by Russian forces in Ukraine

Warning: This article contains details which some may find distressing.

The mayor of a Ukrainian city has accused Russian forces of committing genocide. 

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

Reports of war crimes in Bucha have been met with swift and widespread international condemnation, as footage emerged over the weekend showing bodies with hands tied behind their backs.

Another Bucha resident, Tetyana Volodymyrivna, said she lost her husband. 

She told reporters he had been shot dead and that she could only recognise his body by his shoes and trousers.

Speaking in the streets just days after Russian soldiers withdrew from her home city, Tetyana added that her husband's face was mutilated and that he had been shot in the head. 

Watch: The mercenaries fighting for Russia in Ukraine

Reacting to the footage, Dr Maria Varaki, a lecturer in international law and war crimes research group at King's College London, said the pictures were "horrific" and that an "independent and credible investigation" was needed. 

"There are different teams on the ground already in Ukraine; the United Nations was operating, different NGOs (non-governmental organisation), and the Ukrainians themselves are very good, from my understanding, of collecting evidence," Dr Varaki added. 

Here, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called for the "indiscriminate attacks" by Russian forces on Ukrainian civilians to be treated as war crimes. 

She said: "As Russian troops are forced into retreat, we are seeing increasing evidence of appalling acts by the invading forces in towns such as Irpin and Bucha. 

"Their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians during Russia's illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine must be investigated as war crimes. 

"We will not allow Russia to cover up their involvement in these atrocities through cynical disinformation and will ensure that the reality of Russia's actions are brought to light," she added.

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