World envoys pay tribute to Bucha victims on liberation anniversary

March 31, 2024 - the second anniversary of the liberation of Kyiv Oblast from Russian occupation
March 31, 2024 - the second anniversary of the liberation of Kyiv Oblast from Russian occupation

In a solemn gathering marking the second anniversary of Kyiv Oblast's liberation, diplomats from across the world congregated in Bucha to pay homage to those who suffered under Russian aggression.

"Today, I joined (President) Zelenskyy and other international partners to honor those killed by Russian forces during Russia’s temporary occupation of Bucha, Irpin, and Borodyanka in Kyiv (Oblast), as well as in towns and villages in the Sumy and Chernihiv (oblasts). We stand with Ukraine," U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink wrote on her page on X.

German Ambassador to Ukraine, Martin Jaeger, alongside President Zelenskyy, commemorated the lives lost during the Russian offensive in Bucha.

"Our presence here, as ambassadors, signifies the international community's solidarity with Ukraine," Jaeger expressed on his X page. "There's an imperative for accountability for the atrocities committed in Bucha."

The Italian Embassy acknowledged Ambassador Francesco Zazo's participation in the memorial via their Facebook page, underlining the diplomatic corps' collective remembrance of the Russian occupation's victims.

Echoing this sentiment, the Japanese Embassy highlighted Ambassador Matsuda Kuninori's attendance at a memorial service in Bucha. On their Facebook page, the embassy voiced its condemnation of the violence inflicted upon civilians in Bucha, alongside the recent Russian assaults on Ukraine's energy infrastructure and civilian areas.

"We condemn the atrocities committed against civilians in Bucha and the recent Russian attacks on energy infrastructure and other civilian targets in Ukraine," the Japanese Embassy said.

Russian war crimes in Bucha

The National Police reported on March 31 that they had identified more than 100 Russian soldiers who committed war crimes in Bucha, Kyiv Oblast, during the occupation of the town.

These included abductions, torture, rape, looting, and murder of civilians, including children, in Bucha.

Read also: Russian officer accused of Bucha killings to be tried posthumously

The investigation into 358 bodies found in the city is ongoing, 16 of which remain unidentified.

"The crimes were not something unforeseen, but were the result of specific orders and instructions that were communicated by the command to the personnel," said Ivan Dulkay, senior investigator of the National Police for especially important cases. “We see a clear connection between those commands of the heads of the Russian armed forces and the large number of people killed in the town.”

Read also: Two Russians were notified of suspicion after killing civilian in Bucha

Town of Bucha, Kyiv Oblast, was under Russian occupation for 28 days. The Ukrainian forces liberated the town on March 31, 2022. Bucha became the first large-scale evidence of the brutal Russian atrocities that shocked the whole world.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine