United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres tweeted on Sunday that he was “deeply shocked” by images of civilian deaths in Ukraine circulated over the weekend.
“It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability,” he added in his tweet.
His remarks come after journalists and officials shared images of corpses on the streets of Bucha, a city outside of Kyiv, which was the site of weekslong firefights between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak said that the people in the images had been executed by Russian forces, and Bucha Mayor Anatoly Fedorur said 280 people have been buried in mass graves.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said of the images “it’s horrific, and it’s absolutely unacceptable that civilians are targeted and killed, and it just underlines the importance of, that this war must end” on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
In reference to the images, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken added that they were “a punch in the gut” in another CNN interview, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky again accused Russia of genocide.
“Indeed, this is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and the people. We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities. This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities,” Zelensky said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”
A Sunday report from Human Rights Watch detailed instances of war crimes during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. is among a number of countries working to collect evidence of Russian atrocities for future prosecution in international courts.