Zelensky: 'I want the mothers of Russian soldiers to see the corpses'

‘I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of the dead’: Zelensky condemns Putin’s troops as he says Bucha atrocity is the result of Merkel and Sarkozy’s weakness towards Moscow

  • A visibly upset Zelensky gave a solemn presidential address late last night
  • He addressed the mothers of Russian soldiers and spoke of their sons’ actions
  • ‘I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies’ Zelensky said 
  • He went on to call out former German and French leaders Merkel and Sarkozy 
  • He said their ‘absurd fear’ of Russia prevented Ukraine from joining NATO 
  • It comes as the bodies of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians were discovered in mass graves and on the streets of towns on the northern outskirts of Kyiv 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said he wants Russian mothers to see the bodies of civilians slaughtered in Ukraine at the hands of their sons. 

In a solemn presidential address published on his official Telegram channel last night, a visibly upset Zelensky spoke about the mass graves discovered on the outskirts of Kyiv and savagely condemned the perpetrators of what he called a ‘concentrated evil’.

It comes as scores of corpses were found over the weekend in several towns just north of the capital, where Russian troops had waged war against Ukraine’s armed forces and territorial defence units before retreating last week.

‘I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of those killed in Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel. Why were innocent civilians in a peaceful town tortured to death?’, the President asked.

‘How could women be raped in front of their children? How could they be strangled after having their earrings ripped out? What did the people of the Ukrainian city Bucha do to you?’

Zelensky went on to address Russian mothers personally, telling them that their children ‘have no heart, no soul, and killed deliberately, with pleasure,’ before directing his ire towards former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and former French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

The pair represented the European contingent of NATO at a meeting in Bucharest 14 years ago on April 3, 2008, in which it was declared that Ukraine could become a member of the security bloc.

But in the years that followed, Ukraine was never offered membership and still remains in the so called ‘grey area’ between Europe and Russia – something Zelensky argued is down to Merkel and Sarkozy’s ‘absurd fear of Russia’ and led to the deaths of thousands of Ukrainian civilians.

Angela Merkel’s office meanwhile said the former German chancellor stands by decisions made in 2008 not to put Ukraine directly on track to join NATO, but insisted that all efforts to help Ukraine defend itself against Russian aggression had her full support.

The Ukrainian president last night condemned what he says are ‘war crimes of the Russian military’ in the settlements around the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, after some cities and villages had recently been recaptured by the Ukrainian army from Russian forces 

A mass grave is seen behind a church in the town of Bucha, northwest of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on April 3, 2022 

A Ukrainian policeman walks by a pit in the village of Motyzhyn, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022 where the bodies of the the village’s mayor and over a dozen other people were found buried

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, left, and former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, walk to their seats during a session with invitees, at the NATO Summit conference in Bucharest, Romania, April 3, 2008 

Targeting the former European leaders, Zelensky said: ‘They thought that by refusing Ukraine, they would be able to appease Russia. Now we are fighting for our lives the in most horrific war in Europe since WWII.

‘I invite Mrs Merkel and Mr Sarkozy to visit Bucha and see what the policy of their concessions to Russia has led to in the last 14 years,’ he quipped.

‘I want to be understood correctly – we do not blame the West, we only blame the Russian military who did this against our people… But we have the right to talk about indecision.

‘We shouldn’t have had to ask for help, for weapons to defend ourselves against the evil that came to our country. These should have been given to us anyway, without request.’ 

Despite the best efforts of Ukrainian authorities, Western media directors and social media firms, many Russian mothers are unlikely to have seen the results of Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor has implemented widespread bans on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms, and has restricted its citizens’ access to foreign media websites in an attempt to control the narrative surrounding the conflict.

The Kremlin maintains that Russia’s ‘special military operation’ was launched to ‘denazify’ Ukraine, and state-run media channels have continually blamed much of the destruction on Ukrainian neo-nazi and nationalist groups.  

It was also revealed last week that ‘Find Your Own’ – a Ukrainian government initiative set up to help Russian families locate and learn more about the fates of their family members sent to war – was also blocked by Roskomnadzor.

The initiative posts images of captured or killed Russian soldiers along with their personal details and identity cards, informing Russian families that the POWs are safe and alive and helping them to arrange the collection of the bodies of the dead.

Radio Liberty’s Andrey Sharogradsky announced on Friday that the service had been banned in Russia, further preventing Russian citizens from learning about the war, and was later confirmed by the operators of ‘Find Your Own’ on its website. 

Another view of the mass grave discovered close to a church in Bucha, which was uncovered by Ukrainian forces as Russian troops withdrew from the area around the capital

A satellite image taken on March 31 shows the mass grave – a 45ft-long pit – dug behind the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints in Bucha, during the time that Russian forces were in control of the region

Zelensky’s comments come after several mass graves in towns on the northern outskirts of Kyiv were discovered over the weekend in the latest evidence of Russian war crimes. 

One pit was uncovered in woodland near the town of Motyzhyn and contained the bodies of local mayor Olga Sukhenko, her husband and son, and over a dozen other Ukrainian citizens according to Ukraine’s former ambassador to Austria Olexander Scherba.

That discovery was made shortly after 45ft pit containing the bodies of at least 57 civilians was uncovered in Bucha – a city on the outskirts of Kyiv where hundreds of civilians have been found dead.  

The grave had been dug into a grassy area to the rear of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints, with Serhii Kaplychnyi, head of the local rescue services, saying at least 57 civilians had been buried in the 45ft pit.  

Satellite images taken on March 31, while Russian troops were still in control of the area, clearly show the existence of the grave, while satellite firm Maxar said images taken as far back as March 10 show what appear to be preparations to construct the pit.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine’s foreign minister, said Russian troops had instigated a ‘deliberate massacre’ in Bucha and branded them ‘worse than ISIS’. 

Dead bodies litter the streets near Bucha, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, after Russian forces withdrew from the region – leaving evidence of ‘war crimes’ in their wake

A white van with the word ‘children’ written on the bonnet – intended as a warning to Russian troops that youngsters were inside – is seen riddled with bullet holes in the city of Bucha 

A man and two women weep as they stand next to a mass grave filled with the bodies of Ukrainian civilians dug into the ground of one of Bucha’s largest churches 

Photos from the ground showed bodies left to rot alongside roads, some of them with their hands tied, others piled on top of car tyres as if to be burned. Witnesses gave horrifying accounts of torture and rape by Putin’s men. 

Civilian survivors said some bodies left on the streets had been run over by Russian tanks and ‘squashed like animal skin rugs’. Others reported seeing soldiers shoot dead elderly civilians in front of their relatives.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson led world leaders in condemning the violence at the weekend, pledging to send funding and specialist investigators to the International Criminal Court at The Hauge to compile evidence for a war crimes tribunal. 

‘We will not rest until justice is served,’ he vowed, before a spokesman for the PM added today: ‘It’s clear that Putin crossed the threshold of barbarism some time ago.’

‘It’s certainly evidence that Putin’s army is committing war crimes,’ the spokesman said, adding that the Government now wants ‘to look beyond what we have already provided’ in terms of fresh arms shipments to Ukraine.  

‘Whatever equipment we send will obviously allow Ukraine to defend itself. We are aware of the requests from the Ukrainians for equipment to defend themselves from ships and we are looking into what we can do,’ he said.

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