Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy responded on Sunday to the horrors revealed in gruesome photos and videos out of the Kyiv region attacked by Russian troops.
“Mothers of Russian soldiers should see that. See what bastards you’ve raised,” Zelenskyy posted on his Telegram channel. “Murderers, looters, butchers.”
Some of the graphic scenes the president was referring to are shown below.
Such photos and videos have been coming out of cities like Bucha and the Kyiv suburbs of Irpin and Hostomel, which Zelenskyy adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said looked like a “scene from a horror movie.”
Ukrainian troops have discovered brutalized bodies and widespread destruction in the area outside the capital. Authorities said they are documenting evidence as Ukraine’s military reclaims territory and Russian soldiers withdraw to focus on targeting fuel and ammunition supplies in southern and eastern Ukraine.
Graphic photos from Bucha showed bodies in the streets, some that Associated Press journalists in the area noted had their hands tied behind their backs and had been killed at what appeared to be close range. Other bodies were found wrapped in plastic, bound with tape and tossed in a ditch. Arestovych said some civilians were shot in the head, and some bodies showed signs of torture, rape and burning.
Zelenskyy on Sunday also slammed NATO for not inviting Ukraine to accession talks in 2008. During the alliance’s summit that year in Bucharest, Romania, members invited Albania and Croatia to accession talks with NATO.
“The many years of hard work within the Membership Action Plan have paid off,” the NATO secretary-general said at the summit. “Due to your hard work, Allies can be confident that your admission to the Alliance will strengthen NATO.”
The alliance was also tasked with deciding whether to provide Georgia and Ukraine with MAP status. Neither nation received such status, and they were left with an open-ended promise of eventual, potential membership.
“Bucharest, NATO Summit Declaration. April 3, 14 years ago. There was a chance to prevent, so that Russia did not come,” Zelenskyy wrote in the same Telegram post on Sunday. “Bucha, Kyiv region. Now. Russia has come.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was asked on Sunday about the prospect of guaranteeing security to Ukraine should the country commit to neutrality as part of a negotiation with Russia to end the war.
“All of this is up to the Ukrainians, which is to say that, if they negotiate something that meets their needs, that preserves their sovereignty, their independence, we will back it,” Blinken told CNN’s “State of the Union.” “And we’re not going to be less Ukrainian than Ukrainians. We’re not going to be more Ukrainian than Ukrainians. So, first and foremost, it’s up to them, to their elected representatives, to President Zelenskyy.
“When it comes to the future, we and allies and partners are going to want to make sure that we do everything we can to ensure that this can’t happen again and that Ukraine has the means to defend itself, to deter the Russian aggression,” he continued. “So, we will look at anything that we can do to back up that kind of outcome.”