Moscow dismissed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s statement about Russia’s war crimes in the liberated territories in northeast Ukraine as a “lie” accusing Kyiv of using “the same scenario” in Kyiv’s suburb of Bucha.
“This is the same scenario as in Bucha,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Monday. “This is a lie. Of course, we will defend the truth in this whole story.”
After Russia’s hasty retreat from the Kharkiv region, a mass burial of people was found on the territory of the liberated Izium last week with Ukraine’s Defense Ministry saying at least 440 “unmarked” graves were found in the city in recent days.
Some of the bodies found in Izium showed “signs of torture,” blaming Russia for what he called “cruelty and terrorism,” Zelensky said Friday.
“Bucha, Mariupol and now, unfortunately, Izium … Russia leaves death everywhere,” Zelensky said, issuing a call to hold Russia responsible.
There have been numerous allegations of atrocities committed against civilians since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. In Ukraine’s town of Bucha, investigators and journalists revealed what appeared to be the aftermath left by Russian forces after their retreat.
Russia dismissed the allegations of killings of civilians in Bucha as a staged provocation. A brigade accused of committing war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha had been awarded an honorary title by Russian President Vladimir Putin.