The United States and its allies are preparing to impose new sanctions on Moscow over civilian massacres in Ukraine as the West embarks on a new attempt to stifle Vladimir Putin’s economic and war effort.
President Volodymyr Zelenskiy described the atrocities in his country as “war crimes”, while Ukrainian officials said more than 4,400 incidents were being investigated.
“Russia should be held accountable for Pucha in the Hague,” Ukraine’s Attorney General Irina Venedikova said in a statement.
Western sanctions on Russia received new impetus this week in connection with the nearly six-week-long invasion of Russia’s neighborhood, following the discovery of civilian bodies shot at close range in the city of Pucha after Russian forces withdrew.
Russia, in the style of Playbook, has denied responsibility and suggested that the images were fake or that deaths occurred after its troops left. However, satellite images show bodies lying on the streets of Pucha a few days before Russian troops left the city.
The White House said Wednesday that sanctions would be part of a crackdown on dissent. Coordinated measures between Washington, G7 economies and the European Union will target Russian banks and officials and ban new investment in Russia.
“The goal is to force them to choose,” said Jen Psaki, the White House’s secretary of state. “The biggest part of our mission here is to reduce the resources that Putin has to continue his war against Ukraine.”
Psaki declined to comment on reports in the Wall Street Journal that the sanctions would target Putin’s two daughters.
The proposed EU sanctions would require the 27 member states of the camp to ratify the ban on Russian coal purchases and prevent Russian ships from entering EU ports. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said he is working to curb oil imports. Europe, which receives one-third of its natural gas from Russia, is wary of the economic impact of a total embargo on Russia’s energy. But as a signal of strengthening the EU resolution, the German foreign minister said the coal embargo was the first step towards a ban on all Russian fossil fuel imports.
Zhelensky told the UN about the atrocities in his country. Renewed pressure is coming from the West after Russian leaders demanded that “war crimes be brought to justice” after giving a gruesome account to the Security Council.
A day after US President Joe Biden called for Putin to be taken into account, Zhelensky said there should be an international tribunal similar to the Nuremberg trials of the Nazis after World War II.
There has been global outrage over the apparently deliberate massacre of civilians by Russian troops in Ukraine. Zelenskiy visited Pucha on Monday, after officials said the bodies of 410 civilians had been recovered from cities in the Kiev region. Authorities said up to 300 people could be buried in a mass grave in Pucha.
“There is not a single crime they did not commit there,” Jelensky said via video link and translator. “The Russians deliberately searched for anyone serving our country. They shot women outside their homes. They killed entire families – adults and children – trying to burn their bodies.
Speaking of civilians, Zhelensky said, “After being tortured, he was shot in the back of the head. Some of them were shot in the streets; others were thrown into wells, so they died in misery there.”
He added: “The public was crushed by tanks as they sat in their cars in the middle of the road for their pleasure.”
The President described the atrocities of the Russian forces. “They cut off limbs, beheaded women and raped and killed them in front of their children. Their tongues were plucked out because the invader did not listen to what they wanted to hear.
This is no different from the behavior of the Islamic State, a terrorist group despicable for its atrocities in Iraq and Syria, but the culprit in this case is Russia, the UN. Member of the Security Council. He stressed that the church should live up to its name. “It is obvious that the world’s leading agency for ensuring that any invader is forced into peace cannot function effectively.”
“Pucha is just one of many examples of what the invaders have been doing to our land for the past 41 days, and many more are not known around the world,” Zhelensky said.
He accused Russia of behaving like an ancient settler who kidnaps children and plunders wealth, including gold earrings snatched from the ears of the public. “Russia wants to turn Ukraine into a peaceful slave state,” he said.
Speaking before leaving for Brussels for a meeting of NATO and G7 foreign ministers, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said: It is a planned campaign of murder, torture, rape and atrocities. Reports are more than credible. The world needs to see the evidence for that. It strengthens our commitment and the commitment of nations around the world, one way or another, one day or another, to ensure that those who committed these acts and those who ordered them are held accountable.
On Monday, Peskov said that calling Biden Putin a “war criminal” and calling for a “war crimes trial” was unacceptable and unworthy of a US president.
Among other developments:
The Pentagon said on Tuesday that the United States has agreed to provide an additional $ 100 million in aid to Ukraine, including anti-spear shield systems.
Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, is one of Russia’s main targets, and civilians say Ukrainian forces have destroyed three Russian tanks and about 20 armored vehicles.
U.S. Army Secretary-General Mark Millie, head of the Coalition, has suggested that the conflict could last “at least” years beyond Ukraine.