Ukraine commemorates last year's Bucha massacre

Photo: Getty Images

One year ago, after Russian troops left the area, the Ukrainian military entered the city to discover bodies of dead civilians scattered over the streets and buried in mass graves.

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Images of death and devastation coming from a Bucha left in ruins after month-long occupation stirred a global outcry, prompting international leaders to condemn Russia’s action and calling for an end to the occupation of Ukraine.

Ukraine vows never to forget or forgive

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Friday Ukraine would never forgive Russian troops responsible for alleged atrocities in Bucha.

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"When Bucha was de-occupied, we saw that the devil was not somewhere out there but on the ground. The heinous truth about what was happening in the temporarily occupied territories was revealed to the world," Zelenskyy said.

After Ukraine took back control of Bucha, harrowing images of dead bodies lying in the street were beamed across the world.

Russia's occupation of the town resulted in more than 1,400 deaths, including 37 children, Kyiv said. More than 175 people were found in mass graves and torture chambers and 9,000 Russian war crimes have been identified, it said.

Zelenskyy described the town as a "symbol of the atrocities" of Russian occupying forces. "We will never forget the victims of this war, and we will certainly bring all Russian murderers to justice," Zelenskyy wrote on social media. "We will never forgive. We will punish every perpetrator."

As the Ukrainian President called Bucha’s events genocide, he invited French forensic investigators to the site of a mass grave in the hope the involvement of foreign experts will prevent Russia dismissing as fake news allegations that its troops committed war crimes.

Ukrainian officials say hundreds of civilians have been found dead since the Russian withdrawal. The deputy mayor of Bucha has said 360 civilians were killed during the Russian occupation. Reuters could not independently verify those figures.