Ukraine – Russia war latest – Vladimir Putin must face WAR CRIMES trial over massacre of civilians, Biden demands

JOE Biden has called for Vladimir Putin to face a war crimes trial after alleged atrocities emerged in liberated towns surrounding Kyiv. 

The US President told reporters that the Russian president 'is a war criminal' and there should be 'a war crimes trial' in reference to the events in Bucha.

Russian troops left a scene of horror in Bucha, a town on the outskirts of the capital, with dozens of corpses littering the streets, some shot at close range with their hands tied. 

Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, said Russia 'must be suspended' from the UN Human Rights Council given 'strong evidence of war crimes'. 

Ukraine's leader Volodymyr Zelensky visited the town on Monday, where he told reporters "these are war crimes and will be recognised by the world as genocide".

It comes as satellite images of the small Ukrainian town of Bucha show a trench about 45ft long dug into the grounds of a church where a mass grave has been identified, according to private US space technology company Maxar.

"More recent coverage on March 31st shows the grave site with an approximately 45-foot-long trench in the southwestern section of the area near the church," the company said in a statement.

The Kremlin denied claims by Ukraine that hundreds of civilians were killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha. 

It said the numerous photographs and videos published by Ukraine alleging "war crimes" were a “provocation”.

Follow our Russia-Ukraine live blog below for up-to-the-minute updates…

  • Louis Allwood

    Biden has called for Vladimir Putin to face a war crimes trial

    Joe Biden has called for Vladimir Putin to face a war crimes trial after alleged atrocities emerged in liberated towns surrounding Kyiv. 

    The US President told reporters that the Russian president 'is a war criminal' and there should be 'a war crimes trial' in reference to the events in Bucha.

    Russian troops left a scene of horror in Bucha, a town on the outskirts of the capital, with dozens of corpses littering the streets, some shot at close range with their hands tied. 

    Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, said Russia 'must be suspended' from the UN Human Rights Council given 'strong evidence of war crimes'.

  • Louis Allwood

    Russia threatens to abandon ISS

    THE future of the International Space Station hangs in the balance after Russia on Saturday again threatened to abandon the project.

    The head of the country's space agency hinted that it will end cooperation on the orbiting space lab in response to international sanctions over the war in Ukraine.

    Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin said that a timetable for completion of the ISS project will soon be submitted to Russia's leadership.

    It follows similar threats made by the 58-year-old last month that Roscosmos later rowed back on.

    Rogozin's latest comments came after the United States, the European Union, and Canadian space agencies missed a deadline to meet Russian demands for lifting sanctions on Russian enterprises and hardware.

    Rogozin told reporters that the state agency is preparing a report on the prospects of international cooperation at the station.

  • Louis Allwood

    Zelensky speaks on visit to Bucha

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has spoken during his visit to Bucha.

    The city is one of which Russian forces have been accused of slaughtering civilians.

    He told reporters that residents were showing their humanity by ensuring homeless animals were fed.

    He said: “That’s a characteristic trait of our people, I think – treat animals the way you would treat humans.”

    “[But] you can see around what was done to this modern town. That’s a characteristic of Russian soldiers – treat people worse than animals. That is real genocide, what you have seen here today.”

  • Louis Allwood

    EU ready to send war crimes investigators

    Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, says the EU is ready to send joint investigations teams to Ukraine to document reported war crimes.

    She has tweeted after speaking to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky.

  • Louis Allwood

    UK government is considering further action against Russian soldiers

    The BBC have reported that senior government sources say the UK is considering further action against Russian soldiers themselves.

    It's understood this could include sanctions for what the prime minister has described as evidence of war crimes in Ukraine.

    Measures being looked at, could target captains, majors and colonels in the Russian military.

  • Louis Allwood

    Russia’s newest £38m fighter jet burns

    Ukrainian forces have claimed to have downed another Russian fighter jet with the remnants seen burning in a field.

    The Su-35S, Flanker-E fighter jet, which costs £38million, was brought down near the city of Izyum, in the Kharkiv region, according to local news outlet Nexta.

    MP Anton Gerashchenko said the pilot ejected and was caught as he tried to flee.

    Ukraine's military has named the Russian pilot as Major Sergei Yermalov.

    He reportedly serves in the 159th Guards Fighter Aviation Regiment based at Besovets airfield in the Republic of Karelia, northwest Russia.

    Ukrainian authorities say they have shot down two planes and one helicopter in the past 24 hours.

  • Louis Allwood

    Red Cross unable to reach Mariupol

    It has been reported that the Red Cross says its teams have again been unable to reach the south-eastern port city of Mariupol.

    The BBC reports that the group has tried unsuccessfully for days to access the besieged city.

    They have been trying to escort bus loads of civilians back into government-controlled territory.

    Tens of thousands of people are still trapped with scant access to food, water and electricity.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Joe Gamp here, signing off.

    My colleague Louis Allwood is now taking over the blog.

    He'll be with you until 10pm this evening.

  • Louis Allwood

    Putin dealt another blow by Anonymous

    HACKING group Anonymous claims it has released the details of 120,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine, in the latest cyber attack on Putin's forces.

    Names, dates of birth, addresses, and even passport numbers were included in the major hack of Russian data.

    It comes after Anonymous vowed "unprecedented attacks" on Russian government sites.

    In its latest statement, the group said: "Personal data of 120,000 Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine was leaked."

    It went on: "All soldiers participating in the invasion of Ukraine should be subjected to a war crime tribunal."

    Earlier, Anonymous claimed it had made public 15 GB of data stolen from the Russian Orthodox Church's charity wing.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Ukraine war: The latest

    • Vladimir Putin could be ousted in a ‘palace coup’ by his cronies within TWO YEARS, says intel analysts
    • Kremlin brazenly complains after Ukraine destroys fuel depot on Russian soil moaning that attack will hamper peace talks
    • Russia vows to target British weapons & accuses UK of escalating war in Ukraine as tensions rage
    • Vladimir Putin’s forces mining homes and corpses & ‘using children as human shields’

    UK to push for more sanctions on Russia as evidence of Ukraine atrocities mounts

    The UK is to push for tougher international sanctions against Vladimir Putin's Russia and increase supplies of arms to Ukraine as evidence of atrocities continue to emerge from the war zone.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson said "Britain will never waver from supporting our friends" in a sign of the increased commitment to defend Ukraine.

    Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will meet Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Warsaw on Monday ahead of key G7 and Nato talks later this week where she will push for tougher economic measures against "the Putin war machine".

    Ms Truss argues that weakening Russia's economy will help strengthen Ukraine's hand in peace negotiations with Moscow.

    She will hold talks with Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau on Tuesday and has also pledged a £10 million civil society fund for Ukraine, including support for organisations dealing with sexual violence following reports of Russian forces using rape as a way to terrorise the civilian population.

    There has also been widespread international outrage about other atrocities, including possible mass executions carried out by Russian forces as areas around the capital, Kyiv, returned to Ukrainian control.

    Ms Truss said: "Putin is yet to show he is serious about diplomacy. A tough approach from the UK and our allies is vital to strengthen Ukraine's hand in negotiations. Britain has helped lead the way with sanctions to cripple the Putin war machine.

    "We will do more to ramp up the pressure on Russia and we will keep pushing others to do more. We will continue to support those who are suffering as a result of Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine, including the victims of sexual violence and those in need of humanitarian support."

    PM 'keen to send new types of military aid to Ukraine'

    Boris Johnson is keen to send new types of military aid to help Ukraine, Johnson's spokesman said on Monday.

    He added that Kyiv had asked for help in defending against Russian ships.

    "Certainly the prime minister is keen to look beyond what we have already provided," the spokesman said, declining to provide specifics.

    "We are aware of the requests from the Ukrainians for equipment to defend themselves from ships and we are looking into what we can do."

    UN human rights chief 'horrified' by images of dead in Bucha

    The UN human rights chief said Monday she was "horrified" by images of dead bodies in Bucha, near the Ukrainian capital, after Russian soldiers retreated, warning of possible war crimes.

    "I am horrified by the images of civilians lying dead on the streets and in improvised graves in the town of Bucha in Ukraine," Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.

    "Reports emerging from this and other areas raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law," she said.

    Russian TV presenter claims Ukraine army killed their own civilians in Bucha

    A Russian TV presenter went on an unhinged rant on state news broadcast- claiming Ukraine is killing it's own civilians that they deem traitors.

    A tweet from the BBC's Francis Scarr reads: "Olga Skabeyeva: "The West is using Bucha to legalise future purges in areas previously occupied by the Russian army.

    "The people were killed by Ukrainian forces because they didn't resist the Russians.

    "The West is thus giving Ukraine approval to extrajudicially kill those they deem traitors"

    One killed & three wounded after Russia hit east Ukraine hospital

    One person was killed and three others were injured when Russian forces targeted a hospital in the east Ukrainian town of Rubizhne, the local governor Sergiy Gaiday said on Telegram today.

    “An enemy shell hit Rubizhne Hospital. Information about the victims is being clarified,” Gaiday said.

    He posted a photo of rescuers working in rubble.

    • Joseph Gamp

      Kremlin denies accusations Russian soldiers murdered civilians in Bucha

      The Kremlin said on Monday it categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha and said Ukrainian allegations on the matter should be treated with doubt.

      Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday they were investigating possible crimes by Russian forces after finding hundreds of bodies strewn around towns outside the capital Kyiv after the Russian withdrawal from the area.

      Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the facts and chronology of the events in Bucha did not support Ukraine's version of events and urged international leaders not to rush to judgment.

    • Joseph Gamp

      PM: 'Putin will never break the spirit of Ukraine's people'

      Boris Johnson has this morning tweeted his support for the people of Ukraine.

      After harrowing scenes of attacks on towns such as Bucha over the weekend, the PM said: "Putin will never break the spirit of Ukraine’s people or conquer their homeland.

      "Ukraine will rise again and take her place among free and sovereign nations once more."

    • Joseph Gamp

      Eight dead and 34 wounded after shelling in southern Ukraine

      Eight people were killed and 34 wounded in recent Russian attacks on two towns in southern Ukraine, prosecutors in Kyiv said Monday.

      Referring to attacks on Sunday, Ukrainian Prosecutor General said in a statement: "As a result of enemy shelling, seven residents of Ochakiv were killed and another 20 were injured.

      "In the city of Mykolaiv one person died and 14 people were wounded, among them a child."

    • Joseph Gamp

      'Out of control' Russian soldiers rounded Ukrainians up 'like the Gestapo' 

      The alleged war crimes in Bucha appear to be a sign of Russian soldiers who are "out of control", according to military expert Michael Clarke.

      He told Sky News there was no strategic benefit "whatsoever" for Russian President Vladimir Putin to order a massacre in the area.

      He said it probably reflects Russian troops rounding people up according to lists, "like the Gestapo".

      "Some of these killings might have been as examples to the villages or revenge, but a lot of it, one suspects, is troops out of control," he said.

      He said it looks like Russian troops "probably got angry and very vengeful because the people opposed them and people came out to indicate that they were going to go about their normal lives".

    • Joseph Gamp

      Poland calls for probe into 'genocide' claims in Ukraine

      Poland's Prime Minister has today called for an investigation into the "genocide" of Ukrainian citizens by Russian troops.

      Referring to the apparent killings in Bucha, Mateusz Morawiecki said: "We are proposing an international commission to investigate this crime of genocide."

    • Joseph Gamp

      UK 'needs to keep pressure on in every way' says Welsh Secretary

      The UK needs to "keep the pressure on in every way we can" over the invasion of Ukraine, Welsh Secretary Simon Hart has said.

      Mr Hart told Sky News: "Now isn't the moment to sit back and say 'we've done enough, we've provided all the help we can, let's see what happens'," as he said it was key to ensure sanctions on Russia did not weaken over time.

      Mr Hart was asked how many refugees Wales would take from Ukraine, and said: "We haven't got the time to sort of navel gaze over this. We have to get on with it."

      He added Wales was "determined to live up to our reputation of being a nation of sanctuary, we want to make it as easy as possible".

    • Joseph Gamp

      Zelensky's passionate address to the Grammys in Las Vegas

      Volodymyr Zelensky urged musicians to support Ukraine in "any way you can, but not silence" in a special message played at the 64th Grammys.

      The Ukrainian president said music would "breakthrough" the silence caused by the destruction of Russian forces across his country.

      It comes as the Kremlin's assault on Ukraine rages on and the death toll of civilians continues to climb, with the United Nations estimating the casualties to be in the thousands.

      Mr Zelensky appeared via video link ahead of a special performance by John Legend, featuring words by Lyuba Yakimchuk, a poet from Donbas in Ukraine.

      "The war. What's more opposite to music. The silence of ruined cities and killed people," Mr Zelensky said.

      "Our children draw swooping rockets, not shooting stars. Over 400 children have been injured and 153 children died. And we will never see them drawing. Our parents are happy to wake up in the morning. In bomb shelters. But alive.

      "Our loved ones don't know if we will be together again. The war doesn't let us choose who survives and who stays in eternal silence.

      He continued: "Our musicians wear body armour instead of tuxedos. They sing to the wounded. In hospitals. Even to those who can't hear them but the music will break through anyway. We defend our freedom to live, to love, to sound. On our land we are fighting Russia which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence.

      "Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today. To tell our story. Tell the truth about this war on your social networks, on TV. Support us in any way you can. But not silence. And then peace will come. To all our cities the war is destroying…They are legends already. But I have a dream of them living. And free. Free like you on the Grammys stage."

    • Milica Cosic

      Summary of the news from yesterday

      • Russian forces have been accused of genocide and war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, about 20 miles northwest of Kyiv;
        • The troops allegedly carried out mass murder before Bucha was liberated by Ukrainian forces;
          • Heartbreaking images have emerged of Ukrainian civilians lying dead on the streets as Ukraine officials say some victims were shot in the head with their hands tied behind their back
          • Some witnesses are so traumatised they can’t speak
          • This comes after missile strikes hit infrastructure in the port city of Odesa.

          President Zelensky appears at the Grammys via video link

          Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks on-screen prior to John Legend performing onstage during the 64th Annual Grammy Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

          Zelensky's pre-recorded message was followed by a performance by John Legend of the song "Free," with the help of Ukrainian singer Mika Newton, musician Siuzanna Iglidan and poet Lyuba Yakimchuk.

          "On our land, we are fighting Russia, which brings horrible silence with its bombs. The dead silence," Zelensky said.

          "Fill the silence with your music, fill it today to tell our story."

          More sanctions on Russia

          THE EU is preparing to introduce more sanctions against Moscow following reports of atrocities in the outskirts of Kyiv.

          Charles Michel, president of the European Council said he is: “Shocked by haunting images of atrocities committed by the Russian army in Bucha.

          Michel, writing on Twitter, added: “Further EU sanctions & support are on their way. EU is assisting Ukraine & NGOs in gathering of necessary evidence for pursuit in international courts.”

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