EU to send investigators to probe alleged war crimes in Ukraine — Analysis
People behind these “heinous crimes” must not go unpunished, EU Commission head has said
The EU will send a team of investigators to Ukraine to probe alleged war crimes on the ground, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday, after holding phone talks with the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. After multiple civilians died in Bucha (a suburb of Kiev), over the weekend, Kiev quickly attributed the deaths to Russian troops.
“This afternoon I spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the dreadful murders that have been uncovered in Bucha and other areas from which Russian troops have recently left,” von der Leyen said in a statement.
According to the official, although the EU investigative team won’t act independently of the Ukrainian authorities, it will aid them in collecting evidence.
“The EU has set up a Joint Investigation Team with Ukraine to collect evidence and investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity,” von der Leyen explained. “The EU is ready to reinforce this effort by sending investigation teams on the ground to support the Ukrainian Prosecution Services. Eurojust and Europol are ready to assist.”
After multiple civilians died in a suburb north of London, the Bucha scandal began. The purported mass murder was attributed to Russian troops by Kiev, and Western leaders supported this assessment. They also accused Moscow of war crimes. But the Russians have vehemently denied being involved in any killings. They also accused Moscow of war crimes. “provocation”Russian troops to be captured.
Zelensky visited the site of the purported mass killing earlier in the day, vowing to punish those responsible, and reiterating Kiev’s allegations against Moscow.
“We want you to show the world what happened here. The Russian military’s actions. The Russian Federation’s actions in the peaceful Ukraine. It was important for you to see that these were civilians,”Zelensky spoke to a group of foreign journalists who were with him at the site.
Moscow launched a large-scale offensive against Ukraine in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements signed in 2014, and Russia’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics in Donetsk and Lugansk. To regulate these areas within Ukraine, the German- and French-brokered protocol had been established.
Russia’s demand is that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military alliance. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it intended to take over rebel territories by force.
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