The European Union (EU) on Monday (April 4) condemned the killing of civilians in areas of northern Ukraine retaken from Russian troops. A spokesman for EU Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell, Peter Stano, accused Russia of “murdering civilians, destroying civilian infrastructure, violating international humanitarian law and committing war crimes.”
He said the 27-member bloc would keep on supporting Ukraine and added a new round of sanctions was in the making.
“We will advance, as a matter of urgency, the work on further sanctions against the Kremlin’s murderous war machinery,” Stano told a regular news briefing.
The comments came after Ukrainian authorities announced they were investigating possible war crimes there, a description also used by French President Emmanuel Macron. The Kremlin categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
Reports in Bucha saw one man sprawled by the roadside, his hands tied behind his back and a bullet wound to his head. A mass grave at a church remained open, with hands and feet poking through red clay heaped on top.
The images were also poised to overshadow peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, due to restart by video link on Monday against a backdrop of artillery bombardments in Ukraine’s south and east, where Russia says it is now focusing its operations after withdrawing from around Kyiv.