Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks via remote feed during a meeting of the U.N.
Security Council, April 5, 2022, at United Nations headquarters in New York City.
Zelenskyy told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that the Russian military must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes, accusing the Kremlin’s troops of the worst atrocities since World War II.
The Ukrainian leader made his plea via video as grisly evidence continued to emerge of civilian massacres carried out by Russian forces on the outskirts of Kyiv before they pulled back from the capital.
The images, particularly from the town of Bucha, have stirred global revulsion and led to demands for tougher sanctions and war crime charges.
Making his first appearance before the U.N.’s highest body, Zelenskyy said the Russian troops are no different from other terrorists like the Islamic State group. He showed the council brief video footage of bloody corpses that ended with the words “Stop Russian Aggression.”
He stressed that Bucha was only one place and that there are more with similar horrors, and he called for a tribunal similar to the one that was set up at Nuremberg to try war criminals after World War II.
The grisly scenes of battered and burned bodies and evidence that some of the dead were bound and shot in the head have led Western nations to expel dozens more of Moscow’s diplomats and propose further sanctions, including a ban on coal imports from Russia.
The head of NATO, meanwhile, warned that Russia is regrouping its forces in order to deploy them to eastern and southern Ukraine for a “crucial phase of the war,” and said that more horrors may come to light as Russian troops continue to pull back in the north.
“When and if they withdraw their troops and Ukrainian troops take over, I’m afraid they will see more mass graves, more atrocities and more examples of of war crimes,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Ukrainian officials said the bodies of at least 410 civilians have been found in towns around Kyiv that were recaptured from Russian forces and that a “torture chamber” was discovered in Bucha.