Russian soldiers accused of growing list of atrocities

Civilians in cities that were occupied by the Russian Army reported looting, the use of children as human shields, rape and murder.

 A shot car with inscriptions "Children" is seen on the street, amid Russian invasion on Ukraine, in Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine April 3, 2022. (photo credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)
A shot car with inscriptions "Children" is seen on the street, amid Russian invasion on Ukraine, in Bucha, Kyiv region, Ukraine April 3, 2022.
(photo credit: GLEB GARANICH/REUTERS)

The list of reported abuses committed by Russian soldiers against Ukrainian civilians continues to grow, as the retreat of Russian forces from formerly occupied areas reveals indications about their activities.

These include looting, the use of children as human shields, rape and murder.

The atrocities are being documented by the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine's Ministry of Defense, among other Ukrainian organizations.

Using Ukrainian children as human shields

Local residents of the village of Novy Bykiv (Chernihiv Oblast) said on Friday that Russian soldiers took local children hostage and put them in trucks transferring military equipment in order to ensure that the column will not be attacked.

The residents also said that the Russian forces were using children as hostages in order to guarantee that the local population will not give the coordinates of Russian troops to Ukrainian defenders.

 A soldier takes a photograph of his comrade as he poses beside a destroyed Russian tank and armoured vehicles, amid Russia's invasion on Ukraine, in Bucha, in Kyiv region (credit: REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMRA) A soldier takes a photograph of his comrade as he poses beside a destroyed Russian tank and armoured vehicles, amid Russia's invasion on Ukraine, in Bucha, in Kyiv region (credit: REUTERS/ZOHRA BENSEMRA)

Looting Ukrainian property

The Directorate also reported that the Russian force had set up a specialized bazaar in the city of Narovlya (Belarus) selling property looted in Ukraine.

Some of the items being peddled included washing machines and dishwashers, refrigerators, jewelry, cars, bicycles, motorcycles, dishes, carpets, works of art, children's toys and cosmetics.

Massacres in Bucha

Ukrainian forces who recaptured Bucha near Kyiv on Saturday night found it "littered with corpses," and Human Rights Watch cited a witness saying that Russian troops rounded up five men and shot each of them in the back of the head. Some of the corpses had their hands tied behind their backs.

The various atrocities have raised international outrage. The foreign ministers of France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the European Council President were some of the many world leaders to denounce Russia's actions.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky deemed them as genocide and said that anyone responsible for the crime should be punished, including those who gave the orders. 

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the International Criminal Court to visit Bucha and other towns around Kyiv as soon as possible to gather evidence.

The Russian Defense Ministry denied the claims of mass murder in Bucha and called the footage published from the area "provocations."