Ukrainian Update: 26 bodies discovered under buildings in Kyiv region, Russia expelled from the UN Human Rights Council and Evacuation trains blocked

UKRAINE (April 8, 2022)— Russia is continuing to carry out the “horrors” in Ukraine from behind a “smokescreen”, former British permanent representative to NATO, Lord Ricketts, has said. 

Russian Horrors In Ukraine

 Speaking to Sky’s Mark Austin tonight, Lord Ricketts said comments made by Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov, in which he claimed Russia was not targeting civilians in Ukraine, gave a “worrying sense” they could continue in their denial.

“I think it’s difficult for us in the West to understand that in Russia a straight lie told without a blush is quite normal,” he said.

“I don’t suppose they believe anybody will believe it in the West. 

“It’s a line the Russian people can be fed to the extent that they’re really interested.

“I think the point is to try and obfuscate any sense that there is an objective fact here.”

Lord Ricketts went on to say the Russian government was continuing to carry out “horrors” in Ukraine from behind a “smokescreen” in the “clear hope” there will “never be any international jurisdiction that can try them”.

Speaking on comments made Mr Peskov on the scenes of dead civilians in Ukraine, he added: “I was quite shocked by the suggestion that in Bucha for example what he was really saying was the Ukrainians staged the mass killing of Ukrainian civilians in order to blacken Russia’s name. 

“That’s an obscene suggestion.”

What’s the latest from Ukraine?

We’re six weeks into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. If you’re just joining us this evening, here’s the latest:

  • Russia has been expelled from the UN Human Rights Council over reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights”;
  • Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov admitted Russia had suffered “significant losses of troops”;
  • The Kremlin spokesman also claimed the scenes in Bucha were “fake”; 
  • The bodies of 26 people were discovered under two ruined buildings in the town of Borodianka, Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said;
  • Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a “massive war crime”;
  • Three evacuations trains were blocked after an airstrike on a Ukrainian-controlled railway near Barvinkove station in eastern Ukraine, according to reports:
  • President Joe Biden hailed Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council and called it a “historic vote” and a “meaningful step”;
  • Advisor to Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused “propagandists” in Russia of being responsible for the “atrocities” in Ukraine;
  • President Zelenskyy said the situation in Ukraine’s Borodyanka was “significantly more dreadful” than in nearby Bucha;
  • The mayor of Dnipro urged women, children and the elderly to leave the central-eastern city because Russia is expected to intensify its offensive in eastern regions.

The map below details which areas of Ukraine are under Russian control:

Zelenskyy: Scenes in Borodyanka ‘more dreadful’ than Bucha

The situation in Ukraine’s Borodyanka is “significantly more dreadful” than in nearby Bucha, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said today.

The town of Borodyanka, which sits to the northwest of Kyiv, has faced heavy bombardment following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with drone footage from the scene showing buildings in ruins and rubble strewn across the roads.

The Ukrainian leader’s comments come after images of dead civilians lying on the streets of Bucha with their hands tied behind their back drew global outrage this week.

Moscow has denied targeting civilians and claims the images of
dead bodies were staged to justify more sanctions against
Russia and to derail peace negotiations.

Evacuation trains blocked after airstrike on railway line – reports

Three evacuations trains have been blocked after an airstrike on a Ukrainian-controlled railway near Barvinkove station in eastern Ukraine, according to reports.

Passengers remain stranded at the station after the airstrike hit the line today, with train routes out of Slovyansk, Kramatorsk and Lyman, which sit in the Donetsk region, blocked, Ukrainian media outlet Hromadske reports.

Ukrainian MP Lesia Vasylenko has also reported airstrikes hitting the railway line in the northern part of the Donetsk region.

Sky News has not been able to verify the reports.

Oleksandr Kamyshin, board chair of Ukrainian Railways, told BuzzFeed news the line was the “road of life” for hundreds of civilians.

 

Anger over Putin spokesman’s threat to NATO amid Finland and Sweden speculation

Another section of Dmitry Peskov’s interview that has been the source of significant reaction is that which centered on suggestions Finland and Sweden could seek to join NATO.

Vladimir Putin’s spokesman issued a veiled threat in response, saying Moscow would “have to rebalance the situation” if the two countries – which both have borders with Russia – were to be granted membership.

His statements around NATO in general met with an angry response from Tom Tugendhat MP, for chairman of the Foreign Affair Committee.

Shock at Putin spokesman’s admission over Russian troop losses

While most of Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s comments were in keeping with the standard Kremlin narrative around Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, one remark he made has prompted a degree of shock among many.

“We have suffered significant losses of troops, this is a huge tragedy for us,” he told Sky News.

His admission stood in stark contrast to repeated statements from Moscow that have sought to minimise estimations around the number of casualties its forces have suffered.

While a number of commentators expressed surprise over the admission, others suggested it indicated the situation for Russia was considerably worse than was being acknowledged.

There were also reports online the his remarks had been the source of anger among Russian social media users, who were said to have been angry over his references to peace talks.

Invasion of Ukraine is ‘massive war crime’, former MI6 officer says

Former MI6 officer Christopher Steele has spoken with Sky’s Mark Austin on the version of events being put forward by Russia on the war in Ukraine.

He said comments made by Vladimir Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov and the Russian government, who claim they are not targeting civilians in Ukraine, suggested there were living in an “Alice in Wonderland world”.

Mr Steele questioned whether Mr Peskov and his colleagues believed what they were saying, before adding that if they did this posed a “real problem”.

Speaking on the blanket denial made by Russia on alleged war crimes in Ukraine, he said: “The very invasion of Ukraine in the first place is a massive war crime.

“I think it’s true to to say, at Nuremberg for example, the main crime charged against the Germans and the Nazis was waging aggressive war and indeed that is exactly what this operation in Ukraine is.

“I am sure there is a lot of material to be documented.

“A lot of terrible tragic individual cases that are being documented by journalists and others but starting from first principles, the war itself is a war crime and it should be prosecuted as such in the future.”

26 bodies discovered under buildings in Kyiv region, Ukraine’s prosecutor general says

The bodies of 26 people have been discovered under two ruined buildings in the town of Borodianka, in the Kyiv region, Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova has said.

In a televised briefing, Ms Venediktova accused Russian forces of carrying out airstrikes on the town before they seized control of it.

However, she did not say if the authorities had established the cause of death.

“Borodianka is the worst in terms of destruction and in
terms of the uncertainty about (the number of) victims,” she
said.

Russia has denied targeting civilians during its invasion of Ukraine and claims it is only striking military infrastructure.

Ukraine’s foreign minister thanks UN for suspending Russia from Human Rights Council

Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba has thanked member states who voted to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council today.

Mr Kuleba said he was “grateful” for the vote and to member states who had chosen the “right side of history”.

It comes after Russia was suspended from the body today over reports of “gross and systematic violations and abuses of human rights” by Russian forces in Ukraine.

A total of 93 countries voted in favour of suspending Russia from the body, while 24 countries voted no and 58 countries abstained.

US ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield launched the campaign to suspend Russia from its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council in the wake of videos and photos of streets in the town of Bucha strewn with dead bodies.

The deaths have sparked global revulsion and calls for tougher sanctions on Russia, which has vehemently denied its troops were responsible.

Source: Sky News wrote the original article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.