Rescuers work at the scene of an airstrike in Dnipro, Ukraine (Picture: Ukraine State Emergency Service, UPI, Alamy Live News).

UK could sanction Russian troops suspected of war crimes, says minister

Combatants, leading generals and others involved in alleged criminality could be targeted.

Rescuers work at the scene of an airstrike in Dnipro, Ukraine (Picture: Ukraine State Emergency Service, UPI, Alamy Live News).

Britain could start targeting Russian troops and generals suspected of committing war crimes in Ukraine with sanctions, the Policing Minister has said.

Kit Malthouse said the UK was determined to do all it could to help bring to justice those responsible for the "truly awful crimes" which had taken place during the invasion.

His comments came a day after Prime Minister Boris Johnson visited Ukraine for face-to-face talks with President Zelensky. 

Watch: Drone footage appears to show Russian trenches near Chernobyl nuclear plant.

"While that is ongoing we can take action domestically around sanctions we are able to put on individuals, including combatants, leading generals and others involved in it, to signal our recognition of their part in this dreadful, dreadful assault upon a free democratic country," the minister told Sky News.

"We are putting as much support into the conflict as we possibly can to support the Ukrainians in their fight, we will do the same to bring those to justice who have perpetrated some truly awful crimes during this dreadful time."

During the surprise visit to Kyiv on Saturday, Boris Johnson said Vladimir Putin had "permanently polluted his reputation" through the actions of his forces.

Appearing alongside President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Prime Minister praised the courage of the Ukrainian forces and promised the West would send military equipment to ensure Russia could never again invade its neighbour.

The UK's Ministry of Defence (MOD) said the retreating Russian troops had left behind evidence of the "disproportionate targeting of non-combatants" as they pulled back from the area around Kyiv.

An intelligence assessment released on Saturday evening said this included "the presence of mass graves, the fatal use of hostages as human shields, and mining of civilian infrastructure".

Ukraine's prosecutor general said that in the area around Kyiv alone, they had found the bodies of 1,222 dead.

"Of course, what we saw on the ground in all regions of Ukraine is war crimes, crimes against humanity, and we do everything to fix it," she told Sky News.

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