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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other world leaders condemned Russia on Sunday for its recent attack on the Ukrainian town of Bucha, where reportedly 300 civilians were killed.
The Associated Press reported that brutalized bodies were found by Ukrainian troops in Bucha, a small city northwest of Kyiv as Russian soldiers withdrew and focused their attacks elsewhere.
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What happened in Bucha, Ukraine? Here’s what you need to know
Over the weekend, news outlets began to report the deaths of civilians in the streets of Bucha as Ukraine’s forces recaptured the town. Here's what has happened. Warning: This story contains details that may be disturbing to some. Reader discretion is advised.
Ukraine decries alleged atrocities by Russian troops in Bucha: ‘Horror movie’
"We strongly condemn the murder of civilians in Ukraine, remain committed to holding the Russian regime accountable, and will continue to do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a tweet on Sunday.
"Those responsible for these egregious and appalling attacks will be brought to justice," he added.
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly released a statement on Twitter calling the soldiers' actions "shocking" and a "senseless murder of innocent civilians."
"Canada will not spare any effort, including investigations of war crimes, to ensure that those responsible are held to account," Joly said.
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In the hours after correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured last month while reporting from Ukraine, his colleagues worked with the Pentagon and a team of specialists to reach himOn March 14, the world learned that Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall had just been seriously injured in an attack that left two other journalists dead, all while they were covering Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
We strongly condemn the murder of civilians in Ukraine, remain committed to holding the Russian regime accountable, and will continue to do everything we can to support the people of Ukraine. Those responsible for these egregious and appalling attacks will be brought to justice. https://t.co/YDwJ0n693m
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) April 3, 2022
Ukraine also said they found 410 bodies in towns near Kyiv as part of an investigation into possible war crimes by Russia. Some witnesses were so traumatized they are unable to speak.
Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venedyktova said, "We need to work with witnesses."
"People today are so stressed that they are physically unable to speak."
She said 140 of the bodies had been examined so far. She will be asking the health ministry to provide as many forensic experts as possible to staff a field hospital in Kyiv region.
Ottawa to summon Russia’s ambassador over Bucha killings, Joly says
Oleg V. Stepanov, Russia’s ambassador to Canada, was previously summoned in Ottawa on Feb. 24 – the day Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.Joly told reporters at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday that the ambassador will be shown photos of what happened in the Ukrainian capital's outskirts.
Ukraine demands new sanctions on Russia over ‘massacre’ in Bucha
Ukraine's Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskiy said it was clear hundreds of civilians had been killed, but he did not want to say exactly how many there were. Efforts were still under way to clear mines in the area.
"Many local residents are considered missing. We cannot give an exact figure, but there are a lot of people," he said.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also said on Sunday he was "deeply shocked" by images of dead civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, and he called for an independent investigation that "leads to effective accountability."
Guterres posted his comments on Twitter a day after witnesses and officials reported the attack.
"I am deeply shocked by the images of civilians killed in Bucha, Ukraine," Guterres said, joining Western officials in expressing outrage. "It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability," he said.
I am deeply shocked by the images of civilians killed in Bucha, Ukraine.
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It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) April 3, 2022
Germany said that the west would agree to impose more sanctions on Russia in the coming days, ratcheting up the already vast economic pressure on the country over its invasion of Ukraine.
Russia's economy is facing its gravest crisis since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, after sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.
"Putin and his supporters will feel the consequences" of their actions, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said in a statement Sunday to reporters.
Russia, however, denied its forces were responsible for the deaths of civilians in the town of Bucha and said that Ukraine had staged it as a performance for the western media.
"All the photos and videos published by the Kyiv regime, allegedly testifying to the 'crimes' of Russian servicemen in the city of Bucha, Kyiv region, are another provocation," Russia's defence ministry said in a statement.
The Russian defence ministry said that all Russian military units had left Bucha on March 30, and that civilians had been free to move around the town or evacuate while it was under Russian control.
"During the time that Russian armed forces were in control of this settlement, not a single local resident suffered from any violent actions," it said.
MacKay recalls the French, German NATO 'no' to Ukraine that Zelenskyy denounced
OTTAWA — Peter MacKay says he was chilled by a memory from his time as Canada's defence minister as he absorbed the recent images of Volodymyr Zelenskyy walking through the corpse-laden streets of Bucha. Last weekend, the stricken and angry Ukrainian president called out the former leaders of Germany and France — Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy — for blocking his country's entry into the NATO alliance at their 2008 summit. The membership could have protected his country from future Russian attacks under the alliance's Article 5 collective defence guarantee.
Russia has also requested that the United Nations Security Council convene on Monday to discuss what it called a "provocation by Ukrainian radicals" in the town of Bucha after Kyiv accused Russian troops of killing civilians there.
"In light of the blatant provocation by Ukrainian radicals in Bucha, Russia has demanded that a meeting of the U.N. security council be convened," Dmitry Polansky, Russia's first deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, wrote on the Telegram messenger app.
Video: Russia to increase use of alternative trade currencies to get around sanctions: Lavrov
Meanwhile, the United States said those responsible for any war crimes must be held responsible. Britain said it was stepping up its sanctions against Russia. France condemned "massive abuses" by Russian forces in Ukraine.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “despicable attacks against civilians” in Bucha and Irpin near Kyiv were evidence that Russia was committing war crimes in Ukraine.
“I will do everything in my power to starve (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine,” Johnson said in a statement on Sunday.
“We are stepping up our sanctions and military support, as well as bolstering our humanitarian support package to help those in need on the ground.”
— With files from The Associated Press and Reuters
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