Reports have emerged of Russian soldiers committing “the most terrible war crimes” since World War II, including raping children and burning swastikas into their victims’ bodies.

On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke out about these horrible war crimes in a broadcast to the UN Security Council, in which he accused Russian troops of killing civilians “for their pleasure”.

Following the massacre of Ukrainians in the town of Bucha – just outside of Kyiv – Zelensky has begun to push for the removal of Russia from the UN Security Council, as well as punishment for their “war crimes.”

“They killed entire families – adults and children – and they tried to burn the bodies,” said Zelensky. “I am addressing you on behalf of the people who honor the memory of the deceased every single day.”

President Zelensky addressing the UN Security Council

“I am addressing you on behalf of the people who honor the memory of the deceased every single day and in the memory of the civilians who died, who were shot and killed in the back of their head after being tortured,” Zelensky told the Security Council.

“Some of the were shot on the streets. Others were thrown into wells, so they died there suffering. They were killed in their apartments, houses, blown up by grenades. Civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road, just for their pleasure.

They cut off limbs, slashed their throats. Women were raped and killed in front of their children. Their tongues were pulled out only because the aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them. This is not different from other terrorists such as ISIS. And here it is done by a member of the United Nations Security Council.”
While Zelensky described these war crimes, the Security Council was shown a graphic video including many images of the carnage left behind by the Russian soldiers in Ukraine. The footage showed bodies covering the streets, some dismembered and some burned.
Based on these alleged atrocities, Zelensky called for Russia to be removed from the UN Security Council, where it holds veto power. “We are dealing with a state that is turning the veto [in] the U.N. Security Council into the right to die,” said the Ukrainian President. “This undermines the whole architecture of global security and allows them to go unpunished.”
The UK’s ambassador to the UN and president of the Security Council, Barbara Woodward, responded to Zelensky’s broadcast, saying, “Speaking in my national capacity, we are appalled by what we have seen, and reiterate our solidarity with Ukraine.”
Lesia Vasylenko, a member of the Ukrainian Parliament, reported 10-year-old girls having been raped by Russian soldiers, and dead women being found with “swastika-shaped burns” on their bodies.


Swastika burned into the body of a Ukrainian civilian


A mass grave for the civilians of Bucha who were tortured and killed by Russian soldiers


Human Rights Watch has been documenting cases of Russian military forces committing war crimes against Ukrainian civilians in the occupied areas of Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv. These cases include horrific instances of rape, execution, and unlawful violence.

Hugh Williamson, the Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said, “The cases we documented amount to unspeakable, deliberate cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians. Rape, murder, and other violent acts against people in the Russian forces’ custody should be investigated as war crimes.”

Russia has of course denied these alleged war crimes, and Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov shrugged these accusations off, saying they were “groundless, but… a well-staged tragic show.”

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