Volodymyr Zelensky, the Ukrainian President, called Russian troops «murderers, torturers, rapists, looters» on Monday after dozens of bodies were found near Kyiv, triggering global outrage and vows of tough new sanctions on Moscow.
Local authorities said they had been forced to dig communal graves to bury the dead accumulating in the streets, including some found with their hands tied behind their backs.
Despite Russian denials of responsibility, condemnation was swift, with world leaders voicing their shock at reports of civilian murders in Bucha and elsewhere.
In his nightly video message, Mr Zelensky warned that «concentrated evil has come to our land».
He described Russian troops as «murderers, torturers, rapists, looters, who call themselves the army and who deserve only death after what they did», speaking in Ukrainian.
Switching to Russian, he continued: «I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of the killed people in Bucha, in Irpin, in Hostomel.»
Follow the latest updates below.
- 08:09 AM
- Mass grave in Bucha captured in satellite images
- 07:58 AM
- Russia studying how to lure highly-skilled workers back from abroad, ministry says
- 07:56 AM
- ‘UK will help Ukraine in any way we possibly can’, minister says
- 07:54 AM
- Germany is the main roadblock for tougher Russian sanctions, Poland’s PM says
- 07:16 AM
- Your morning briefing
- 1. Russia accuses US of propaganda over Bucha dead
- 2. Boris Johnson: ‘We will not rest until justice is served’
- 3. Volodymyr Zelensky calls for support at Grammys
- 4. ‘Too early’ for Putin-Zelensky meeting
- 5. Wagner Group mercenaries target Donbas region
- 06:59 AM
- Hungary’s PM names Zelensky among his ‘opponents’
- 06:57 AM
- New sanctions on Russia needed after killings in Bucha, Macron says
- 06:52 AM
- Pictured: Remains of Russian aircraft hit by Ukrainian forces
- 06:28 AM
- Slovakia will stay united with EU against Russian gas payment demands, PM says
- 06:27 AM
- The latest pictures from Ukraine
- 06:07 AM
- Ukraine’s agriculture minister warns over global prices
- 06:03 AM
- Russia claims footage in Ukraine’s Bucha was ‘ordered’ to blame Russia
- 05:24 AM
- Ukraine accuses Russia of war crimes
- 05:03 AM
- Russian troops refocus their offensive into Donbas region
- 04:46 AM
- Towns reclaimed in Chernihiv region, humanitarian effort underway
- 04:29 AM
- Zelensky calls Russian troops ‘murderers’ amid war crime accusations
- 03:46 AM
- Russia calls for special UN meeting to address war crimes claim
- 03:13 AM
- Calls for UK to build its green economy to eliminate Russian fuel
- 02:39 AM
- Volodymyr Zelensky in Grammy Awards appearance
- 02:26 AM
- Russian troops shot resident ‘all over’
- 02:16 AM
- Explosions continue to rock Odesa
- 02:10 AM
- European officials call for war crimes probe
- 12:01 AM
- Today’s top stories
Mass grave in Bucha captured in satellite images
A mass grave in Bucha has been captured in satellite images, following reports of torture and executions in the city formerly occupied by Russian forces.
The satellite images showed a 45-foot-long trench dug into the grounds of a church where a mass grave was found.
Russia studying how to lure highly-skilled workers back from abroad, ministry says
Moscow is studying what extra incentives it needs to offer highly skilled Russian expatriates to persuade them to return home, the Industry and Trade Ministry said on Monday.
Russia has a reputation for producing world-class engineers and other technical specialists, but has for years been trying to counter an exodus of its brightest scientists.
Moreover, Moscow’s war in Ukraine has prompted thousands of Russians who oppose the conflict and want to avoid seeing their living standards slip under Western sanctions to leave the country.
Alexander Sergeyev, president of the Russian Academy of Sciences, spoke last week of a large brain drain under Western sanctions — imposed in 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and significantly toughened since February.
Russia has had a repatriation programme for skilled workers since 2007.
«The further development of this programme and additional benefits to attract highly qualified Russian specialists from different spheres is being discussed,» the ministry said, without elaborating on what the benefits might be.
‘UK will help Ukraine in any way we possibly can’, minister says
Britain will help Ukraine with military aid in any way «we possibly can», Simon Hart said this morning.
The Wales Secretary said the UK will be responsive to new requests from the Ukrainian government.
“It is providing the kind of defensive weaponry that we have already done in greater numbers… so it is increasing as far as it is reasonable to do so all of the aid that we have so far given,» he said.
“But also making sure that when Ukraine comes to us and says actually we need a slightly nuanced version of it, we need a different sort of defensive weapon, to make sure if we can, if we physically can, if we possibly can, we either provide the financial support or the actual support to be able to provide that.”
Germany is the main roadblock for tougher Russian sanctions, Poland’s PM says
Germany is the main roadblock to imposing tougher sanctions on Russia, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday during a news conference, adding that Hungary was not blocking them.
His comment comes after Prime Minister Viktor Orban won a national election on Sunday after facing criticism over an insufficiently tough stance on Russian aggression in Ukraine.
«We have to see that, regardless of how we approach Hungary, this is the fourth such win and we have to respect democratic elections… it’s Germany that is the main roadblock on sanctions. Hungary is for the sanctions,» Mr Morawiecki said.
Your morning briefing
Good morning. Here are the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war to get you up to speed.
1. Russia accuses US of propaganda over Bucha dead
Russia’s foreign ministry said on Monday that footage of dead civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha had been «ordered» by the United States as part of a plot to blame Russia.
2. Boris Johnson: ‘We will not rest until justice is served’
The Prime Minister will this week seek to galvanise a tough response from allies to the crisis in Ukraine.
3. Volodymyr Zelensky calls for support at Grammys
The Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, made a surprise video appearance at the music industry’s star-studded Grammy Awards celebration in Las Vegas on Sunday and appealed to viewers to support his country «in any way you can».
4. ‘Too early’ for Putin-Zelensky meeting
Russia’s chief negotiator Vladimir Medinsky has said it is too early for top-level peace talks between Volodymyr Zelensky and Vladimir Putin.
5. Wagner Group mercenaries target Donbas region
In its latest briefing, the Ministry of Defence said that Russian troops, including mercenaries from the Russian state-linked Wagner private military company, are being moved into the Donbas.
Hungary’s PM names Zelensky among his ‘opponents’
Viktor Orban, the pro-Putin prime minister of Hungary, named Volodymyr Zelensky among his “opponents” as he celebrated re-election on Sunday night, reports Tom Ough.
Mr Orban, 58, said: “We will remember this victory until the end of our lives because we had to fight against a huge amount of opponents.”
Among those opponents, Mr Orban said, were the Hungarian left, Brussels bureaucrats and “the Ukrainian president.”
Mr Orban, who has presided over a curtailing of press freedom and judicial independence, has a long history of cosying up to Vladimir Putin. He has welcomed Ukrainian refugees, but he has resisted sanctioning of Russian energy, which Hungary is reliant on. “We have to stay out of it,” Mr Orban said of the war last night.
He was singled out by Volodomyr Zelensky in the Ukrainian president’s address to EU leaders on March 24. “Listen, Viktor, do you know what’s going on in Mariupol?” asked Zelensky.
New sanctions on Russia needed after killings in Bucha, Macron says
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that more sanctions on Russia were needed after Ukraine accused Russian forces of the killings of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
Mr Macron told France Inter radio that there were «very clear clues» indicating that Russian forces were responsible for war crimes in Ukraine.
Russia on Sunday denied its forces were responsible for the deaths of civilians in the town of Bucha and said Ukraine had staged a performance for the Western media.
Pictured: Remains of Russian aircraft hit by Ukrainian forces
Slovakia will stay united with EU against Russian gas payment demands, PM says
Slovakia will act in unison with the European Union against Russia’s gas payments demands, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said after a minister raised the option of paying in roubles if necessary to keep gas flowing.
Slovakia is highly reliant on Russia for gas supplies and Moscow has demanded payment in roubles. However, the European Commission said on Friday that European companies whose supply contracts stipulate payment in euros or dollars should not meet this demand.
«In this situation, unity is key and we insist on respecting contract conditions and payments in euros,» Mr Heger said in a Facebook post late on Sunday.
His comments came after Economy Minister Richard Sulik said the country would work together with Europe but that Slovakia could not be cut off from Russian gas flows and if it had to pay in roubles it would.
The latest pictures from Ukraine
Ukraine’s agriculture minister warns over global prices
Ukraine’s agriculture minister said on Monday he expects «quite a large harvest» this year and hopes Ukraine will be able to export grain, but warned that continuation of the war would mean higher prices for all countries.
The minister, Mykola Solskyi, said the situation was «difficult» with fuel, which is needed for spring fields.
Russia claims footage in Ukraine’s Bucha was ‘ordered’ to blame Russia
Russia’s foreign ministry said that footage of dead civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha had been «ordered» by the United States as part of a plot to blame Russia.
«Who are the masters of provocation? Of course the United States and Nato,» ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview on state television late on Sunday.
Ms Zakharova said the immediate Western outcry over the images of dead civilians indicated the story had been part of a plan to sully Russia’s reputation.
«In this case, it seems to me that the fact that these statements [about Russia] were made in the first minutes after these materials appeared leaves no doubt as to who ‘ordered’ this story.»
Ukraine accuses Russia of war crimes
Ukrainian authorities are investigating possible war crimes after finding hundreds of bodies strewn around towns near Kyiv after Russian troops withdrew to refocus their attacks in other parts of the country.
Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, will this week seek to galvanise a tough response from allies to the crisis in Ukraine as Russia is accused of massacring civilians, with scenes akin to a «horror movie».
On its 73rd anniversary, Mr Johnson will hail Nato as the «greatest security alliance in the history of the world» — adding that it has a responsibility to support Ukrainians as they fight for freedom with «every fibre of their being».
The PM condemned Russia’s «despicable attacks» against civilians in Irpin and Bucha, adding that «we will not rest until justice is served».
Russia’s defence ministry said photographs and videos published by Ukrainian authorities alleging «crimes» by troops in Bucha were a «provocation» and no resident of Bucha suffered violence at the hands of Russians.
Mr Johnson said «no denial or disinformation from the Kremlin» can conceal that President Vladimir Putin is «desperate» and «his invasion is failing».
Russian troops refocus their offensive into Donbas region
Towns reclaimed in Chernihiv region, humanitarian effort underway
Ukraine has reclaimed control of some towns in the city of Chernihiv and humanitarian aid is currently being delivered.
The city is located about 80 miles north of Kyiv and it had been cut off from shipments of food and other supplies for weeks.
The road between Chernihiv and the capital of Kyiv is set to reopen to some traffic later on Monday, news agency RBK Ukraina reported.
The mayor said on Sunday that relentless Russian shelling had destroyed 70 per cent of the city.
Zelensky calls Russian troops ‘murderers’ amid war crime accusations
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky labelled Russian soldiers «murderers, torturers, rapists, looters» on Monday after dozens of bodies were found near Kyiv, triggering global outrage and allegations of war crimes.
Zelensky gave a scathing nightly video message, warning «concentrated evil has come to our land».
Speaking in Ukrainian, he described Russian troops as «murderers, torturers, rapists, looters, who call themselves the army and who deserve only death after what they did».
He then switched to Russian and said: «I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of the killed people in Bucha, in Irpin, in Hostomel».
Russia has denied allegations of war crimes.
Russia calls for special UN meeting to address war crimes claim
Moscow has called for a special UN Security Council meeting on Monday to address claims that Russian troops committed war crimes against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha, a town outside Kyiv.
«In the light of heinous provocation of Ukrainian radicals in Bucha, Russia requested a meeting of UN Security Council on Monday April 4,» Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday on Twitter.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has blamed Moscow for the «killings» of hundreds civilians.
But Russia has denied the accusations and claimed Kyiv staged footage of the corpses.
Calls for UK to build its green economy to eliminate Russian fuel
The International Trade Secretary is set to call for the UK to build its green economy to «eliminate Russian fuel from our energy mix once and for all».
During her visit to Norway, Anne-Marie Trevelyan is expected to declare the UK must first use its relationships with «reliable energy partners» , but also invest in more sustainable sources which would be out of the «malign reach» of Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused turmoil in global energy markets.
Volodymyr Zelensky in Grammy Awards appearance
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has appeared in a video aired at the Grammy Awards in the United States and appealed to viewers to support Ukrainians «in any way you can».
«What is more opposite to music? The silence of ruined cities and killed people,» said Mr Zelensky in the video that aired ahead of a performance by American singer John Legend and Ukrainian poet Lyuba Yakimchuck.
Mr Zelensky said in English, his voice hoarse: «Fill the silence with your music. Fill it today, to tell our story. Support us in any way you can. Any, but not silence.»
Russian troops shot resident ‘all over’
Russian troops rolled into Bucha in the early days of the invasion and stayed up to March 30. With those forces gone, residents are now giving harrowing accounts of soldiers shooting and killing civilians without reason.
One resident said Russian troops took people out of basements where they were hiding. They checked phones for evidence of anti-Russian activity and took them away or shot them.
Hanna Herega, another resident, said Russians started shooting at a neighbour who had gone out to gather wood for heating.
«They hit him a bit above the heel, crushing the bone, and he fell,» Ms Herega said. «Then they shot off his left leg completely, with the boot. Then they shot him all over.»
Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, described bodies in the streets of the suburbs of Irpin and Hostomel as well as Bucha as a «scene from a horror movie».
He alleged that some of the women found dead had been raped before being killed and the Russians then burned the bodies.
«This is genocide,» Mr Zelenskyy told CBS’ Face the Nation programme on Sunday.
Explosions continue to rock Odesa
Explosions were heard in the early hours of Monday in the cities of Kherson and Odesa, in the south, while air raid sirens sounded across Ukraine’s east.
Missiles struck near Odesa on Sunday, with Russia saying it had destroyed an oil refinery used by the Ukrainian military. The Odesa city council said «critical infrastructure facilities» were hit.
There was little sign of a breakthrough in efforts to negotiate an end to the war, although Russia’s chief negotiator, Vladimir Medinsky, said talks were due to resume on Monday via videoconference.
European officials call for war crimes probe
Satellite images show a 45ft-long trench dug into the grounds of a Ukrainian church where a mass grave was found this week.
Pictures of the destruction and apparent violence towards civilians has sparked widespread condemnation of Russia and leader Vladimir Putin.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the images as «a punch in the gut»
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation
«Putin and his supporters will feel the consequences,» said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, adding that Western allies would agree on further sanctions in coming days
Human Rights Watch said it had documented «several cases of Russian military forces committing laws-of-war violations» in the Ukrainian regions of Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Kyiv
Ukraine’s foreign minister called on the International Criminal Court to collect evidence of what he called Russian war crimes. British and French foreign ministers said their countries would support such probes.
However, legal experts say a prosecution of Putin or other Russian leaders would face high hurdles and could take years.
Russia has denied targeting civilians and rejected allegations of war crimes.