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Volodymyr Zelenksyy: ‘Substantial evidence’ points to Russia committing genocide


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has again called on world leaders to take punitive action against Russia, saying “substantial evidence” in his country points to Russia committing genocide against its people, but “not everyone doesn’t have the courage” to stand up and stop the bloodshed.

“It is clear that this is not even a war; it is genocide. They just killed people, not soldiers. People. They just shot people in the streets,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper of the many atrocities seen across the country since the start of the Russian invasion, while highlighting the slaughter of people in Bucha, a suburb of kyiv, in particular.

“They weren’t soldiers; they were civilians. They tied their hands; they forced children to watch their mothers being raped; then they threw them into a well or into common graves. Children, adults, elderly. And we have substantial evidence that points to this being genocide, audio and video where they talk about how much they hate us,” he said in an interview that aired in the middle of Sunday.

Videos and satellite images taken in Bucha in recent weeks show bodies lined up in the streets as the Russian military controlled the area, refuting Russia’s claim that the bodies were placed there after its army left. . Some of the bodies were seen with their hands tied behind their backs and gunshot wounds to the head.

Father-of-two Zelenskyy expressed particular grief over a recent video circulating that shows a mother finding her child’s body in a well in the village of Buzova near kyiv. He called the video “the most horrible thing I’ve seen in my life”.

“I can’t look at him as a father, only because all you want after is revenge and killing. I have to watch him as the president of a state where a lot of people have died and lost their loved ones,” he said. “And there are millions of people who want to live. We all want to fight. But we must all do our best so that this war is not endless. The longer it is, the more we would lose.

Nadiya Trubchaninova, 70, cries as she holds the coffin of her son Vadym, 48, killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha, during his funeral at Mykulychi cemetery on the outskirts of kyiv on April 16.

He further shared his belief that violence could escalate beyond Ukraine’s borders, stressing that Russia could use chemical or nuclear weapons and that the rest of the world should “be ready”.

“For them, the life of the people is nothing,” he said.

President Joe Biden also said on Tuesday that he believed the killings in Ukraine were genocide, but would “let the lawyers decide, internationally, whether it qualifies or not.” French President Emmanuel Macron, who has engaged in diplomatic talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin since the start of the war, has meanwhile refrained from using such a label, saying an “escalation of words” does not will not bring peace.

Zelenskyy said he spoke directly to Macron about this opinion and invited the French leader, along with Biden, to visit Ukraine to see the death and destruction firsthand.

Volodymyr Zelenksyy: ‘Substantial evidence’ points to Russia committing genocide
Ukrainian Nicolai, 41, bids farewell to his daughter Elina, 4, and his wife, Lolita, on a train to Poland fleeing the war at the station in Lviv, western Ukraine, April 15.

“He will come and see, and I’m sure he will understand,” Zelenskyy said of Macron.

Genocide is a crime recognized by international law as an act which seeks “to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”, according to the Genocide Convention, which has been ratified by States United in 1988.

The United States has only recognized the genocide eight times since the Holocaust, with the government most recently accusing Myanmar in March of committing genocide against its minority Rohingya population. The recognition came nearly five years after the peak of the violence and follows similar recognitions by other countries, including Canada, France and Turkey.



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