Pentagon says ‘obvious’ Russia’s forces responsible for atrocities in Ukraine’s Bucha

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Russia’s forces are “obviously” responsible for the atrocities committed in Ukraine’s town of Bucha, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Monday.

“I think it is fairly obvious, not just to us but to the world, that Russian forces are responsible for the atrocities in Bucha,” he said.

Kirby added: “Now exactly who – what units, whether they’re contractors or Chechens – I don’t think we are able to say right now. But we’re certainly not refuting that these atrocities occurred and occurred at the hands of Russians.”

According to the mayor of Bucha, 300 residents were killed by Russian forces. Ukrainian officials entered the town on Sunday and reported mass graves and “executed” civilians. Pictures of bodies littering the streets and corpses with their hands tied behind their backs sparked a global outcry.

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Moscow denies targeting civilians and claimed that Kyiv “staged” a “provocation” for Western media.

Kirby said: “We believe the Russians are committing war crimes in Ukraine. They need to be documented, evidence needs to be collected, and investigations need to be completed. The US will be a participant in that process.”

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan had said earlier on Monday that the US will consult with its allies to ensure Russian President Vladimir Putin pays for the “war crimes” committed in Ukraine, and that the mechanism of accountability may take place in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

On Monday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Ukrainian Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov and expressed “outrage at the apparent atrocities committed by Russian forces in Bucha, and across Ukraine,” the Department said in a statement.

Austin “reiterated the US commitment to use every tool available to document and share information I an effort to hold accountable those responsible.”

Read more:

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Zelenskyy on Bucha civilian killings: Russians treat Ukrainians ‘worse than animals’

Biden urges Putin war crimes trial after Bucha killings

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