Press Releases EU Statement on the Russian atrocities committed in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns

EU Statement on the Russian atrocities committed in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns

  1. The European Union condemns in the strongest possible terms the reported atrocities committed by the Russian Armed Forces in a number of previously occupied Ukrainian towns, in Bucha, but also in Irpen, Hostomel, Ivankiv, and other places that have now been liberated by the Ukrainian Armed Forces. Haunting images of large numbers of civilian deaths and casualties show the true face of the brutal war of aggression the Kremlin is waging against Ukraine and its people. We are profoundly shocked and appalled by reports of mass graves containing hundreds of persons, and of bodies of civilians found in the street, including those of women, children and the elderly, some with their hands tied behind their back. There are also reports that the Russian forces have placed mines in homes and equipment, and there are documented cases of repeated rapes, summary executions, as well as other incidents of unlawful violence and threats against civilians, including the mass destruction of civilian infrastructure and looting of civilian property by Russian soldiers. The massacres in the town of Bucha and other Ukrainian towns will be inscribed in the list of atrocities committed on European soil.
  2. The Russian authorities are responsible for these atrocities, committed while they had effective control of the area. They are subject to the international law of occupation.
  3. The perpetrators of war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as the responsible State officials and military leaders, will be held accountable. The European Union supports all measures to ensure accountability for these violations in Ukraine by the Russian Armed Forces.
  4. In particular, we fully support the investigation launched by the ICC Prosecutor into war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as the work of the OHCHR Commission of Inquiry. The EU is assisting the Ukrainian Prosecutor General and Civil Society focused on collection and preservation of the evidences of the war crimes.
  5. We also reiterate our full support for, and look forward to, the imminent report of the OSCE Moscow Mechanism expert Mission, which is mandated to establish facts surrounding violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, in the context of Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine. We also highly appreciate the Ukraine Human Rights Monitoring Initiative, through which ODIHR documents the most serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law standards, from day one of Russia’s illegal war of aggression. The information collected about the potential crimes committed by the Russian Armed Forces, including against civilians, will be presented to accountability mechanisms that have, or may have in the future, jurisdiction.
  6. We stand in full solidarity with Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in these sombre hours for the whole world. We repeat our call on Russia to fully respect Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders and its territorial waters. The EU will continue to firmly support Ukraine and will advance, as a matter of urgency, work on further sanctions against Russia.
  7. President Putin must stop this war immediately and unconditionally.

I kindly ask that this Statement be appended to the Journal of the Day.

The Candidate Countries REPUBLIC of NORTH MACEDONIA*, MONTENEGRO*, and ALBANIA*, the Country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and Potential Candidate BOSNIA and HERZEGOVINA, the EFTA countries ICELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, members of the European Economic Area, as well as UKRAINE, the REPUBLIC OF MOLDOVA, GEORGIA, ANDORRA, MONACO, and SAN MARINO align themselves with this statement.

* Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

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