‘Savage, hideous and gruesome’ Russian soldiers torch cars to hide bodies of civilians

Ukraine: Jeremy Bowen recalls seeing murdered civilians

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BBC correspondent Jeremy Bowen has recalled seeing the aftermath of a massacre in Ukraine with a score of civilians murdered as they attempted to flee Russian troops. He described the scene on a highway outside of Kyiv as a “savage, hideous and gruesome sight.”

Mr Bowen told BBC Sound’s Ukrainecast podcast: “So the hypothesis my hypothesis and the hypothesis that Ukrainian troops who we were speaking to about this was that the Russians perhaps they saw the video on the internet was everywhere, went worldwide, thought oops and thought they would burn the evidence.

“What I saw as we walked up there is that they’ve tried to burn through the others as well and a lot of them have got tires around them as an accelerant but they didn’t burn them properly.

“So you can see some of are burned and some aren’t burned.

“You can see the wounds.” 

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“Some are just left in the middle of the street decomposing,” he added.

“I mean it is an absolutely savage and hideous gruesome sight.”

It comes as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that Russia had waged a deliberate campaign to commit atrocities in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

“What we’ve seen in Bucha is not the random act of a rogue unit,” Blinken told reporters before departing for Brussels for a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting.

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“It’s a deliberate campaign to kill, to torture, to rape, to commit atrocities,” he said.

Russia, which says it launched a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24 to demilitarize and “denazify” its neighbour, denies targeting civilians and said the deaths were a “monstrous forgery” staged by the West to discredit it.

Swedish prosecutors have opened a preliminary investigation into possible war crimes in Ukraine and urged witnesses to come forward, the Swedish Prosecution Authority said on Tuesday.

The authority said the purpose of the investigation was to secure evidence as early as possible that could be used in Swedish or international courts.

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It urged victims and anyone who had witnessed violence against civilians in Ukraine to contact authorities.

Based on the information available on the situation in Ukraine, there is reason to believe that serious war crimes have been committed,” the Swedish Prosecution Authority said in a statement.

The Authority said it currently had no suspects.

US President Joe Biden on Monday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of war crimes and called for a trial, adding to the global outcry over civilian killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha. 

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