Zelensky Calls Russian Army 'Concentrated Evil' After Bucha Killings

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned the "concentrated evil" of the Russian military, calling on every mother who raised a Russian soldier to see the bodies of civilians in Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, following reports that Vladimir Putin's army massacred civilians in cities and towns close to Kyiv.

In a grave public address on Sunday, 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. Ukraine's army said on April 2 that it had recaptured the whole of the Kyiv Oblast region.

Ukraine's 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 deserve 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."

There have been reports of mass graves in some of the areas that have been liberated from Russian control by the Ukrainian army. Satellite images show trenches at a mass grave site in Bucha.

"What did they do?," Zelensky continued. "Why were they killed? What did the man who was riding his bicycle down the street do? Why were ordinary civilians in an ordinary peaceful city tortured to death?

"Why were women strangled after their earrings were ripped out of their ears? How could women be raped and killed in front of children? How can their corpses be desecrated even after death?

"Why did they crush the bodies of people with tanks? Why did the Ukrainian city of Bucha do to your Russia? How did all of this become possible?

Russian mothers! Even if you raised looters, how did they also become butchers?"

He then accused the responsible Russian soldiers of having "no soul" and "no heart."

"They killed deliberately and with pleasure," Zelensky said. "I want all leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are being fulfilled. Such orders. Such a fulfilment. And joint responsibility, for these murders, for these tortures, for these arms torn off by explosions that lie on the streets. For shots in the back of the head of tied people."

"This is how the Russian state will now be perceived. This is your image. Your culture and human appearance perished together with the Ukrainian men and women to whom you came"

U.S lawmakers have accused Russia of war crimes after reports that Russian forces massacred civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.

Russia's ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, has denied that Russian troops massacred civilians in Bucha and has blamed Ukraine for the casualties.

As outrage grew, Antonov told Newsweek via email that the accusation that Russian troops were responsible for the mass killing of civilians in Bucha is "false."

Antonov alleged the United States "deliberately says no word about the fact that immediately after the withdrawal of Russian troops, the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the city of Bucha. This is what could have led to civilian casualties." Newsweek could not independently verify that claim.

Newsweek has contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry for comment.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a press conference in Kyiv on March 3, 2022. Zelensky accused the Russian military of being "butchers" and "murderers" after the Ukraine ministry accused them of massacring Ukrainian civilians in the city of Bucha, close to Kyiv. Sergei Supinsky