The United States and its allies are preparing to impose more sanctions on Moscow in response to civilian fatalities in Ukraine as the West attempts to undermine Vladimir Putin’s economy and war effort once more.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described the atrocities in his nation as “war crimes,” and officials in Ukraine claimed about 4,400 incidents were being investigated.

“Russia will be held accountable in The Hague for Bucha,” Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, said in a statement.
Western sanctions on Russia for its almost six-week invasion of its neighbor gathered traction this week after remains of civilians shot at close range were discovered in the village of Bucha after Russian soldiers retreated.

Russia has denied culpability, claiming that the photographs are fake and that the deaths occurred after its forces withdrew. However, satellite photographs reveal that bodies were left on Bucha streets for days before Russian forces withdrew.

The White House stated that the penalties, which will be announced on Wednesday, are in part a response to Bucha. The sanctions, negotiated by Washington, the G7 economies, and the European Union, will target Russian banks and officials while also prohibiting fresh investment in Russia.
“The idea is to push them to make a decision,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. “The biggest part of our objective here is to deplete the resources that Putin has to continue his war against Ukraine.”

Psaki refused to comment on Wall Street Journal allegations that the penalties might target Putin’s two daughters.
Proposed EU penalties, which must be approved by the bloc’s 27 member states, would prohibit the purchase of Russian coal and the entry of Russian ships into EU ports. The European Commission’s head, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that the bloc is also working on a ban on oil imports. Europe, which gets approximately a third of its natural gas from Russia, has been concerned about the economic implications of a comprehensive embargo on Russian energy. However, in a show of EU commitment, Germany’s foreign minister stated that the coal boycott was the first step toward an embargo on all Russian fossil fuel imports.

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The renewed western pressure comes after Zelenskiy provided a horrifying description of atrocities in his country before the UN Security Council and requested that Russian authorities be “brought to trial for war crimes.”

A day after US president Joe Biden called for Putin to be held to account, Zelenskiy said there should be an international tribunal similar to the Nuremberg trials of Nazis after the second world war.

The renewed western pressure comes after Zelenskiy provided a horrifying description of atrocities in his country before the UN Security Council and requested that Russian authorities be “brought to trial for war crimes.”
A day after US president Joe Biden urged for Putin to be held accountable, Zelenskiy suggested an international tribunal akin to the Nuremberg trials of Nazis after WWII.
Global outrage has erupted in response to what appear to be purposeful civilian deaths by the Russian military in Ukraine. On Monday, Zelenskiy traveled to Bucha after officials said that the corpses of 410 civilians had been recovered from Kyiv-area communities. According to officials, up to 300 victims might be buried in one mass grave in Bucha.

“There is not a single crime that they would not commit there,” Zelenskiy said via video link and an interpreter. “The Russians searched for and purposely killed anyone who served our country. They shot and killed women outside their houses. They killed entire families – adults and children – and they tried to burn the bodies.”
Zelenskiy spoke of civilians “shot and killed in the back of the head after being tortured. Some of them were shot on the streets; others were thrown into the wells. So they died there in suffering.”
He added: “Civilians were crushed by tanks while sitting in their cars in the middle of the road just for their pleasure.”

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The president went into detail about the alleged cruelty of Russian soldiers. “They severed limbs, slit throats, and raped and murdered mothers in front of their children.” Their tongues were simply torn out because the attacker did not hear what they desired to hear.”
This was no different, he argued, from the behavior of the Islamic State, a terrorist organization infamous for its atrocities in Iraq and Syria, except that the offender in this case was Russia, a member of the UN Security Council. He challenged the council to live up to its name. “It is obvious that the world’s primary institution, which must assure the compulsion of any aggressor to peace, simply cannot function effectively.”

Zelenskiy also said Bucha was “only one of many examples of what the occupiers have been doing on our land for the past 41 days” and there were many more that the world had yet to learn the full truth about.
He accused Russia of behaving like an ancient coloniser that was abducting children and looting wealth, including gold earrings ripped from civilians’ ears. “Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves,” he said.

“What we’ve seen in Bucha is not the random act of a rogue unit,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as he prepared to travel to Brussels for meetings of Nato and G7 foreign ministers. It’s a planned effort to kill, torture, rape, and commit crimes. The reports are more than trustworthy. The proof is available for anyone to see. This increases our commitment, as well as the determination of nations throughout the globe, to ensure that, one way or another, one day or another, those who performed these atrocities, as well as those who ordered them, are held accountable.”

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Peskov said Biden’s words on Monday, in which he called Putin a “war criminal” and demanded a “war crimes trial,” inappropriate and unbecoming of a US president.

Russia’s war in Ukraine: latest developments