Ukraine News: U.N. Reports 1,430 Civilian Deaths, Including 121 Children

Live Updates

Today is Day 40 of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

  • Images showing civilian bodies left in the streets of Bucha, near Kyiv, spark international outrage. President Joe Biden called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin in response.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited Bucha where he says thousands were killed and tortured. He accused Russia of genocide.
  • The U.S. is coordinating with its allies to announce new sanctions against Russia this week, according to the White House.
  • The U.S. believes Russia is "revising" its war aims to target eastern Ukraine, likely deploying tens of thousands of soldiers around the Donbas region.
Ukrainian town of Bucha
Russian armored vehicles are seen in the city of Bucha, west of Kyiv, on April 4. Getty Images/ARIS MESSINIS/AFP

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U.N. Reports 1,430 Civilian Deaths, Including 121 Children

The United Nations has recorded more than 3,500 civilian casualties in Ukraine, warning actual figures are "much higher."

As of April 3, at least 1,430 civilians have been killed, including 121 children, according to data from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

Another 2,097 civilians have been injured, including 178 children.

"Most of the civilian casualties recorded were caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area, including shelling from heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, and missile and air strikes," OHCHR said.

OHCHR provides this breakdown:

  • 1,430 civilians killed, including: 297 men, 202 women, 22 girls, and 40 boys, as well as 59 children and 810 adults whose sex is unknown.
  • 2,097 injured, including: 248 men, 189 women, 42 girls, and 38 boys, as well as 98 children and 1,482 adults whose sex is unknown.

As of Monday, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office reports 161 children have died and 264 more are injured. The numbers are not final as reports have not been fully conducted in several areas including Mariupol, some parts of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Luhansk regions.

Over 1,500 Civilians Evacuated Out of Mariupol

More than 1,500 civilians were evacuated from Mariupol Monday, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

The hundreds who were stuck in the besieged city evacuated along a humanitarian corridor route running from Mariupol to the city of Zaporizhzhia, the Associated Press reports. Evacuees were able to drive out in private vehicles as a convoy of buses was again unable to enter the city, AP adds. Vereshchuk also said nearly 1,000 others were also evacuated to Zaporizhzhia from five locations in the Luhansk region.

Prior to the evacuation, Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said 130,000 people remain in the city as of Monday, according to the Kyiv Independent. Ongoing attacks have left widespread destruction. The Mariupol City Council said restoring the city's infrastructure will cost at least $10 billion.

Mariupol theatre
A view of the Mariupol theater damaged during fighting in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine on April 4, 2022. Alexei Alexandrov/AP Photo
Mariupol theatre
A view inside the Mariupol theater damaged during fighting in Mariupol, in territory under the government of the Donetsk People's Republic, eastern Ukraine on April 4, 2022. Alexei Alexandrov/AP Photo
Mariupol theatre
A view inside the Mariupol theater damaged during fighting in Mariupol on April 4. Alexei Alexandrov/AP Photo

Russian Forces Likely Redeploy in Eastern Ukraine, Pentagon Says

Russia continues to reposition its forces in Ukraine as it refocuses its military efforts in the Donbas region, the Pentagon reports.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said a large percentage of Russian forces that were around Kyiv have moved north towards Belarus to possibly refit and resupply before being redeployed elsewhere in Ukraine.

Russian forces will likely return to action in eastern Ukraine, after the Pentagon has seen more strikes and Russian offensive maneuver in the Donbas region.

"It is clear to us that they want to prioritize the Donbas," he said.

Kirby noted that Russia seems to have given up its ground offense in Kyiv. While the threat of potential ground occupation of the capital has "diminished," Kyiv is still vulnerable to airstrike attacks, Kirby said.

He said it was accurate to characterize this movement of troops as "retreating," as they are moving back as they are being pushed back.

This is not a complete withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine, Kirby noted.

"These guys are not going home," he said.

The U.S. is continuing to send military aid to Ukraine, including the new $300 million aid package. This package is not a drawdown form U.S. stocks, but allows the Defense Department to procure equipment from other companies and pass it along to Ukraine.

The Pentagon said a shipment from the $800 million package have been delivered over the last 24 hours. Kirby said the U.S. is prioritizing what the Ukrainians needs, including Javelins, Stingers and UAVs.

"We are moving as fast as we can to get them every bit of security assistance that we can, and the sickening reports coming out of Bucha only make it all the more important to us that we continue this very expedited pace," a senior defense official told reporters earlier Monday.

Kirby added that the U.S. believes that Russian forces are responsible for the atrocities that happened in Bucha, but could not confirm who committed the crimes or the chain of command.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Ukrainian Minister of Defence Oleksii Reznikov earlier Monday to reiterate "unwavering support" for Ukraine's defense and to express his outrage over the apparent atrocities Russia committed in Bucha.

Russia to Shift Focus to Eastern Ukraine, U.S. to Announce New Sanctions

The U.S. believes Russia is "revising" its war aims to target eastern Ukraine, likely deploying tens of thousands of soldiers around the Donbas region, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Monday.

"Russia is repositioning its forces to concentrate its offensive operations in eastern and parts of southern Ukraine, rather than target most of the territory," Sullivan said during a briefing Monday. "We anticipate that Russian commanders are now executing their redeployment from northern Ukraine to the region around the Donbas in eastern Ukraine."

He said the pivot in strategy follows a failure of Russia's initial plans, to its "surprise." Sullivan said Russia's goals were to seize Kyiv, replace Ukraine's government and take control of most, if not all, of the country. So far, Russia has not achieved any of those objectives.

Russian forces started to reposition away from Kyiv towards Belarus last week. Sullivan said the "retreat" north will likely be followed by a deployment of "dozens of additional battalion tactical groups" to eastern Ukraine.

"We assess Russia will focus on defeating Ukrainian forces in the broader Luhansk and Donetsk provinces, which encompasses significantly more territory than Russian proxies already controlled before the new invasion began in late February," Sullivan said.

The U.S. also believes Russia will shift focus to parts of southern Ukraine. The effort could include trying to "hold" Kherson to enable control of their water flow to Crimea and an attempt to block Mykolaiv to prevent Ukrainian forces from retaking Kherson. In northern Ukraine, Sullivan said forces will likely keep pressure on Kharkiv, while continuing air and missile strikes across the rest of the country.

As President Joe Biden said earlier Monday, the White House is not yet prepared to call the reported atrocities in Bucha a "genocide," but said the U.S. is continuing to monitor and evaluate the situation.

"We have seen atrocities, we have seen war crimes," Sullivan said. "We have not yet seen the level of systematic deprivation of life of the Ukrainian people to rise to he level of genocide."

Sullivan did add that the U.S. believes the reported crimes in Bucha were "part of the plan."

The United States is also preparing to announce additional sanctions on Russia this week. Sullivan said the U.S. is currently coordinating with allies and partners on new sanctions to "raise the pressure and raise the cost on Putin and on Russia."

"We will have additional economic pressure elements to announce," Sullivan said.

Sullivan presser
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan takes a question from a reporter at a press briefing at the White House in Washington on April 4, 2022. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

Germany Needs More Time to Cut Off Russia Gas Supply

Germany said it needs more time to cut off Russian gas supply.

Finance Minister Christian Linder said cutting off Russia gas supplies is not possible now, but supports further sanctions against the Kremlin.

"We need some time," he said, according to AFP News.

Germany also announced it is temporarily taking control over the German subsidiary of Russian gas company Gazprom in order to secure energy supply while continuing to punish Russia for its invasion in Ukraine.

Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Germany's network regulator has been appointed as Gazprom Germania's trustee until Sept. 30.

"The government is doing what is necessary to ensure security of supplies in Germany, and that includes not exposing energy infrastructures in Germany to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin," Habeck said.

He added that Germany will not leave its energy infrastructure "subject to arbitrary decisions by the Kremlin."

This comes as the head of Deutsche Bank warned that cutting off Russian gas and oil would lead to a steep recession in Germany.

"The situation would become even worse if imports or supplies of Russian oil and natural gas were stopped. In this case, a significant recession in Germany would be almost inevitable," Christian Sewing, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, told reporters.

NATO Marks 73 Years Amid 'Gravest' Security Threat in Decades

NATO members are celebrating the Alliance's 73rd anniversary Monday, amid what NATO leaders have called "the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades" due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"For more than 70 years, NATO has been bringing together Allies from Europe and North America, not only in a military pact to defend each other against any threat, but also in an Alliance of shared values, friendly cooperation and transatlantic unity," NATO said.

12 founding Allies signed the Washington Treaty on April 4, 1949, in Washington, D.C., creating NATO. Founding members included: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom and the United States.

NATO now has 30 members and includes one billion people.

The Alliance has closely coordinated in its ongoing response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Allies have worked in tandem to impose sanctions against Russia and determine present and future action.

"We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect and defend the security of our Allied populations and every inch of Allied territory," the NATO Heads of State and Government statement reads following its Extraordinary NATO Summit in Brussels March 24. "Our commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty is ironclad."

President Joe Biden said NATO is "as strong and united as it has ever been" following the March summit.

NATO
Twelve countries sign the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949 in Washington, D. C. and bring the Alliance to life. NATO
NATO
NATO’s first headquarters was established at 13 Belgrave Square in London in 1950. NATO
NATO Flags
Flags of NATO member countries flap in the wind outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Feb. 22, 2022. Olivier Matthys/AP Photo

U.S. Sending Support for Ukrainian War Crime Investigation

The United States is sending support to assist Ukraine's investigation into reports of Russian war crimes.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S. is sending both funding and personnel to support Ukraine's war crimes unit, at the request of the Ukrainian Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

This multi-national team international prosecutors and war crime experts from will "collect, preserve and analyze evidence of atrocities with a view towards pursuing criminal accountability," Price said.

"Those responsible for atrocities must be held accountable, as must those who ordered them," he added.

Price said the U.S. has seen evidence that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine, including reports of "torture, rape and civilians executed alongside their families" in Bucha.

"Their reports and images of a nightmare litany of atrocities including reports of landmines and booby traps left behind by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's forces injure even more civilians and slow the stabilization and recovery of devastated communities after they failed in their objective and withdrew," he said.

Price added that reports of these atrocities "are not the act of a rogue soldier," but rather "part of a broader, troubling campaign."

The U.S. is also sending funding through non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Price said U.S. personnel are working "in the region," but not in Ukraine.

Video Shows Long Line of Abandoned Cars in Irpin

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is providing critical care to hundreds remaining in Irpin, as photos show destruction across the city.

As of Sunday, ICRC estimated some 3,500 of the "most vulnerable" remain trapped in Irpin. The city was home to about 60,000 residents before Russia's invasion.

"They are homeless, elderly or people with limited mobility," ICRC said. "Many are trying to survive in their damaged homes."

ICRC said water is hard to find in the city and those remaining need food and power to charge cell phones. The organization's medical team is also providing aid to those injured, saying "many" are in desperate need of care.

ICRC shared a video showing a long line of abandoned cars lining both sides of the main road out of the city.

"There's a long line of abandoned cars in front of the bridge in Romanivka," ICRC said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky saw the extensive damage of the bridges on the M-06 and R-30 highways that used to stretch across the Irpin River. He said repairs will likely take months.

Zelensky in Irpin
President of Ukraine website

WATCH: State Department Press Briefing

The State Department is set to begin its daily press briefing shortly.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price will likely discuss any update in Ukraine and mark the 73rd anniversary of the formation of NATO today.

The briefing will stream live at 2 p.m. ET on the State Department website and YouTube channel.

Foreign Officials Join Call for Russian Accountability After Bucha

Foreign officials are joining the U.S. call for Russia to be suspended from the U.N. Human Rights Council following war crimes allegations in Bucha, Ukraine.

Liz Truss, the U.K. Foreign Secretary, said Russia "must be suspended" after reports of "heinous butchery" in Bucha.

Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkēvičs echoed the call for Russian suspension.

"The country that launched war against Ukraine, commits gross and systemic human rights violations, and war crimes has no place in [the Human Rights Council]," he tweeted.

Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said ousting Russia from the HRC is "the right move."

"It should be easy for every single country to support this," she said in a tweet. "As long as Russia sits on the council with China and Venezuela, it remains a joke and a disgrace to human rights."

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield called on the 140 members of the United Nations to "match our words with action" after seeing the images of dead civilians coming out of Bucha.

"We cannot let a Member State that is subverting every principle we hold dear to continue to participate in the [U.N. Human Rights Council]," she said. "Russia should not have a position of authority in that body, nor should we allow Russia to use its seat on the Council as a tool of propaganda to suggest they have a legitimate concern about human rights."

A two-thirds majority of 193 members of the U.N. General Assembly, 129 countries, could expel Russia from the HRC. Last month, 141 countries voted to condemn Russia's invasion in Ukraine.

The head of the U.N. Human Rights Council said she is "horrified" by the images of dead civilians in Bucha.

"Reports emerging from this and other areas raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes as well as grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.

She added that is it "vital" to conduct independent and effective investigations into what happened in Bucha to "ensure truth, justice and accountability."

Foreign officials, including French President Emmanuel Macron, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Belgian President Alexander De Croo, as well as the German, Polish and Canadian Foreign Ministries, have joined calls to hold Russia accountable for its actions in Bucha.

They have expressed their support for international investigations into the reports of Russian war crimes and promised to issue tougher sanctions on Russia.

The U.N. Security Council has called for a meeting Tuesday to discuss mounting evidence of war crimes in Ukrainian cities, including Bucha," U.K. Ambassador to the U.N. Barbara Woodward announced. The U.K. has taken over the presidency of the council this month.

The Russian delegation to the U.N. asked for a UNSC meeting Monday on "Ukrainian provocation in Bucha," but said the U.K. delegation denied their request.

"As we understand, the main task of our British colleagues is to dissolve through baseless procedural pretexts our request in another meeting on Ukraine scheduled on Tuesday with a bigger focus," Russian U.N. official Dmitry Polyanskiy said on Telegram. "They clearly want to avoid us raising this issue separately which will cause reputational damage to Western countries who have already blamed Russia of murdering civilians in Bucha. This will not work and the world should learn the truth. We will insist that the meeting takes place on Monday as we requested."

Police Detain Red Cross Team Outside of Mariupol

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was once again unable to reach Mariupol Monday, saying a team is currently detained by police a few miles outside of the besieged city.

"A team from the ICRC is being held by police in the town of Manhush, 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) west of Mariupol," an ICRC Spokesperson tells Newsweek.

"The team was stopped on Monday while carrying out humanitarian efforts to help lead a safe passage corridor for civilians," the statement says." The ICRC has been in direct contact with our colleagues and is speaking with the parties on all sides to bring clarity to the situation and allow them to resume their humanitarian work."

Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said 130,000 people remain in the city as of Monday, according to the Kyiv Independent.

Boychenko said Russian troops are blocking all attempts to deliver humanitarian supplies and accused the occupiers of stealing aid and allegedly distributing it on "their own behalf," the outlet added.

Last Tuesday, the ICRC warned time was "running out" for the tens of thousands of civilians remaining in Mariupol who are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The team's mission also includes safely evacuating civilians out of the city.

"For the operation to succeed, it is critical that the parties respect the agreements and provide the necessary conditions and security guarantees," ICRC said Friday.

Also last week, the ICRC confirmed that its warehouse in Mariupol was damaged; however, no staff had been at the warehouse since mid-March.

ICRC
A child is helped off a bus at the registration center in Zaporizhzhia, where the International Committee of the Red Cross said it had a team of three cars and nine staff waiting to head out towards the besieged city of Mariupol from Zaporizhzhia on April 1, 2022. EMRE CAYLAK/AFP via Getty Images

Thousands Tortured and Killed in Bucha, Zelensky Says

International condemnation of the reported atrocities in Bucha continues Monday, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's office says Russian troops committed "mass killings of civilians."

"These are war crimes and they will be recognized by the world as genocide," Zelensky said during a visit to Bucha. "We are aware of thousands of people killed and tortured, with their limbs cut off. Raped women, murdered children. I believe this is genocide."

"Dead people have been found in barrels, basements, strangled, tortured," Zelensky said about Bucha and other areas of Ukraine.

He added that the horrifying crimes make negotiations "very difficult."

Zelensky in Bucha
President Volodymyr Zelensky walks in the town of Bucha, just northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on April 4, 2022. RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images
Zelensky in Bucha
RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images
Zelensky in Bucha
President of Ukraine website
Zelensky in Bucha
RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

Russia Calls Photos of Bucha 'Staged'

Russia called the reports of atrocities in Bucha a "faked attack" after denying Russian forces killed civilians in Ukraine.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a "fake attack was staged" in Bucha days after Russia forces withdrew from the area on March 30.

He accused Ukrainian officials and their Western allies of staging the photos of dead civilians in order to push anti-Russian sentiments

Lavrov said the Bucha mayor claimed he had everything in order on March 31, the day after Russian forces left.

"And two days later, we saw the stagging organized in the streets," he said Monday, as translated by the BBC. "They're now trying to leverage that for anti-Russian purposes."

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied accusations that Russian forces killed civilians in Bucha.

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"All the photos and videos published by the Kiev regime allegedly testifying to some 'crimes' committed by Russian servicemen in Bucha, Kiev region are just another provocation," Russia said in a statement, adding that all of the "so-called 'evidence of crimes' in Bucha" did not emerge until the Security Service of Ukraine and representatives of Ukrainian media arrived in the town.

Russia added that during the time Bucha was under the control of the Russian armed forces, "not a single local resident has suffered from any violent action."

Russian official Dmitry Polyankiy called the situation in Bucha a "heinous provocation of Ukrainian radicals." He said the spread of images and videos of dead bodies in Bucha a "fake news campaign" by Ukraine and the West.

Biden Calls for War Crimes Trial, Says U.S. Will Seek More Sanctions

President Joe Biden called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin in response to the reported atrocities in Bucha.

"He [Putin] is a war criminal," Biden said to reporters Monday. He added that "all the details" must be gathered so an "actual war crime trial" can be conducted.

"This guy is brutal, what's happening in Bucha is outrageous," Biden said.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of genocide after seeing horrifying photos from Bucha over the weekend.

When asked if he agreed that the situation in Bucha is genocide, Biden answered "no, I think it's a war crime."

Biden also said the United States will seek further sanctions against Russia and will continue to provide Ukraine with weapons.

Biden media address
President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media at Fort Lesley J. McNair on April 4, as he returns to Washington and the White House after spending the weekend in Wilmington, Del. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo/

EU Sends Teams to Help Ukraine Investigate War Crimes

The European Union and Ukraine will work together to investigate war crimes after reports that Russian forces allegedly killed civilians in Ukrainian cities.

The EU set up a joint investigation team with Ukraine to "collect evidence and investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity," EU President Ursula von der Leyen said in a statement.

She spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky about the "dreadful murders" in Bucha and other areas from where Russian troops recently left.

"The harrowing images cannot and will not be left unanswered," she said. "The perpetrators of these heinous crimes must not go unpunished."

The EU will send investigation teams on the ground to support the Ukrainian Prosecution Services, von der Leyen said. This includes possible assistance from the EU law enforcement agency, Europol, and its agency for criminal justice cooperation, Eurojust, if needed.

Von der Leyen added that there are ongoing talks between Eurojust and the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the Court to be part of the joint investigation team.

Zelensky Condemns Russian 'Genocide' on Bucha Visit

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that it is harder for his country to negotiate with Russia since Kyiv became aware of the scale of alleged atrocities and human rights violations carried out by the Russian military on Ukrainian civilians.

Zelensky made the remarks on a visit to Bucha, a city northwest of the capital Kyiv.

Over the weekend, there were reports of mass graves in Bucha, as well as civilian bodies littering the streets. Anatoliy Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, told AFP that civilians were killed by Russian forces with a "bullet in the back of the neck."

"These are war crimes and will be recognised by the world as genocide," the president said on Monday, wearing body armour and surrounded by troops.

"It's very difficult to talk when you see what they've done here," Zelensky added.

"The longer the Russian Federation drags out the meeting process, the worse it is for them and for this situation and for this war."

"We know of thousands of people killed and tortured, with severed limbs, raped women and murdered children," he said.

Since launching its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Russia has denied targeting civilians.

Russia Faces Removal From U.N. Human Rights Council

Russia will likely be ousted from the United Nations Human Rights Council in response to its invasion of Ukraine, with the United States and European states leading the push.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. made the announcement on Monday, only hours after Ukraine accused the Russian army of killing hundreds of civilians in the town of Bucha, 35 miles northwest of Kyiv.

The resolution, led by the U.S., is almost certain to pass because it only a two-thirds majority vote by the 193-member assembly can suspend a country from the council for persistently violating human rights, according to international lawyer Hillel Neuer.

Speaking on a visit to Romania on Monday, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said: "Russia's participation on the Human Rights Council is a farce.
"And it is wrong, which is why we believe it is time the UN General Assembly vote to remove them."

Moscow's mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

Vice PM of Ukraine Asks U.S. for More Weapons

Mykhailo Fedorov, the Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine, has repeated the Kyiv governments calls for the U.S. to send more weapons.

"We continue to find out the horrors Russian troops left in Bucha," he tweeted, asking the U.S. to "give Ukraine a chance to stop Russian aggression."

He said Ukraine's military was most in need of: heavy artillery, armored vehicles, tanks, military trucks and long-range anti-aircraft systems.

What Is the Wagner Group? Putin's Private Army in Ukraine

The Wagner Group—an elite paramilitary force closely linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin—is now being sent to Eastern Ukraine, according to an intelligence update by the British Ministry of Defense on Monday.

There are thought to be around 1,000 mercenaries belonging to the group in Ukraine.The elite private army—which is also known as Liga—was formed in 2014, during the war in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The paramilitary group rose to prominence when it helped separatist forces in the self-declared "People's Republics" of Donetsk and Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, between 2014 and 2015.

The group have a history of committing war crimes in the Middle East and in Africa, including in Syria and Libya.

Europe and U.S. Consider Fresh Sanctions on Russia

The European Union is preparing more sanctions in response to alleged Russian atrocities in Ukraine, according to top EU diplomat Josep Borell.

Russian perpetrators "will be held accountable" for "massacres" in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns, Borell said in a tweet about an hour ago.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday slammed Russia's "despicable attacks" on citizens in Bucha.

French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that targeting oil and coal industries would be "particularly" painful for Russia

German leader Olaf Scholz vowed he would step up sanctions over the deaths.

Earlier, Germany's defence minister Christine Lambrecht said the EU must now discuss banning Russian gas imports. But economic minister Robert Habeck later insisted his country won't impose an embargo immediately.

In the U.S., members of Congress accused Russia of war crimes and also called for further sanctions.

"War crimes. We cannot turn away from this horror," Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan, wrote on Twitter. "We cannot let those who perpetrated such unspeakable violence against civilians escape justice."

Zelensky Condemns Russian Army for Alleged Bucha Massacre

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday condemned Russian soldiers as "butchers", "murderers" and "rapists", following reports that Vladimir Putin's army massacred civilians in towns close to Kyiv.

In a grave public address, Zelensky expressed his horror at reports that civilians were killed and tortured in cities outside of Kyiv, which were held by Russian forces before being recaptured by the Ukrainian military last week.

The Ukrainian defense ministry has alleged that civilians in Bucha, a city 23 miles northwest of Kyiv, were "executed arbitrarily" while it was occupied by Russian troops for several weeks.

"Hundreds of people were killed. Tortured, executed civilians. Corpses on the streets. Mined area. Even the bodies of the dead were mined! The pervasive consequences of looting," Zelensky said.

"Concentrated evil has come to our land. Murderers. Torturers. Rapists. Who call themselves an army. And who deserves only death after what they did. I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of the killed people in Bucha, in Irpin, in Hostomel."