UN human rights office documents some 50 “unlawful” killings in Bucha, it says

TOPSHOT – Relatives of Mykhailo Romaniuk, 58, who was shot dead on his bicycle on March 6, help to bury his coffin at a cemetery in Bucha, on April 19, 2022, during the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Photo by Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP) (Photo by YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images)

UN human rights officers have documented the “unlawful killing, including by summary execution, of some 50 civilians” in Bucha, a town on the outskirts of Kyiv, the UN Human Rights Office said Friday.

The UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU) has documented and verified at least 5,264 civilian casualties — 2,345 killed and 2,919 injured, the UN said.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said:We know the actual numbers are going to be much higher as the horrors inflicted in areas of intense fighting, such as Mariupol, come to light.”

“The scale of summary executions of civilians in areas previously occupied by Russian forces are also emerging. The preservation of evidence and decent treatment of mortal remains must be ensured, as well as psychological and other relief for victims and their relatives,” Bachelet went on to say.

“Almost every resident in Bucha our colleagues spoke to told us about the death of a relative, a neighbor or even a stranger. We know much more needs to be done to uncover what happened there and we also know Bucha is not an isolated incident.”

Some background: Earlier this month, accounts of summary executions, brutality and indiscriminate shelling emerged in the wake of Russia’s hasty retreat from central Ukraine. CNN teams saw dozens of bodies buried or strewn across the ground in the devastated suburb of Bucha, after a brutal occupation that lasted over a month.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has blamed Russia for the killings and called on Moscow to stop committing “war crimes.”

The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the mass killings, while reiterating baseless claims that the images of civilian bodies on the streets of Bucha are fake.

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