Ukrainian soldiers stand by a destroyed Russian tank and armoured vehicles in the formerly Russian-occupied city of Bucha, near Kyiv © Atef Safadi/EPA/Shutterstock
The EU is preparing to introduce more sanctions against Moscow after reports of atrocities emerged in the wake of Russia’s military retreat from the outskirts of Kyiv.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said further sanctions were “on their way” in response to Russia’s actions in Bucha, a city about 25km north-west of central Kyiv that was under Russian occupation until recently.
“Shocked by haunting images of atrocities committed by Russian army in Kyiv liberated region,” Michel said on Twitter on Sunday. “Further EU sanctions & support are on their way. EU is assisting Ukraine & NGOs in gathering of necessary evidence for pursuit in international courts.”
EU ambassadors are expected to discuss the fresh round of measures on Wednesday, according to a diplomat with knowledge of the plans.
The pledge for more punitive measures against Russia follows strong western condemnation of alleged Russian war crimes on unarmed Ukrainian civilians in recently liberated areas around Kyiv, as Moscow shifts its war focus to the country’s east.
Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, accused Russia of committing “war crimes” and appealed to Russian citizens to help stop the war. “I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of the killed people in Bucha, in Iripin, in Hostomel,” he said.
Emine Dzheppar, Ukraine’s deputy foreign minister, said soldiers who had retaken Bucha from Russian forces reported “numerous civilians shot dead”.