Chilling images and videos from the outskirts of Kyiv have emerged that show mass graves left behind by retreating Russian soldiers, setting a reminder of the darkest chapters from Europe's history. The gruesome find near Kyiv, in the town of Bucha, is just the latest slaughter in places where Russian troops have been forced out.
The mass grave reportedly had bodies of 57 civilians. So far, 410 civilians have been killed in the areas surrounding Kyiv, according to Ukrainian officials. There were 300 of them in Bucha alone. Over the weekend, men, women, and children's remains were scattered across Bucha's highways.
Horrifying War Crimes
The most recent grave was discovered behind the church in Bucha's city center, with some dead only half buried or not at all. Both Vitali Klitschko, mayor of Kyiv, and his brother Wladimir Klitschko have accused Russia of genocide.
"What happened here, and everywhere in the Ukraine, what is happening is not a special operation, this is not military this is civilians," Wladimir Klitschko said in a graphic video that shows him walking past the mass grave with rotting bodies of civilians strewn across him.
"They've been shot in the head, with their hands tight behind their back, this is genocide on the Ukrainian population, and that is exactly what Russia's regime and Putin's regime and the Russian army is doing, killing civilians, with their tied hands behind their back and with a shot in their heads."
When speaking on US television on Sunday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed similar comments.
There are several gory photographs also that depict the scale of devastation and war crimes. One photo shows a lone woman strolling across burnt-out Russian tanks amid the flattened buildings of Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv that is now almost unrecognizable from only a few weeks ago.
On the streets of the European city once bustling with cafes, schools, and shops, bodies of cyclists and children are also seen slaughtered in another photograph.
Yet another photograph shows a soldier cautiously poking a body with a stick to see if it is booby-trapped. A fourth photo depicts female troops who have been repatriated to Ukraine as part of a prisoner swap. Captors have shaved their heads to humiliate them and strip them of dignity.
Some bodies are seen lying face-down on the sidewalk. Some people are seen dead in their cars, engulfed in flames. Others look up at the sky with their mouths open, as if screaming in agony at the atrocities of Russian occupation, which began only 40 days ago.
Bodies of several civilians were discovered among the grim litter of war - damaged tanks, wasted bullet casings, shattered glass, and fragments of artillery shells â on the streets of Bucha.
Professionals looking for more room than they might find in the city center could go to this suburb. On the outskirts of a bustling capital city, a refuge for families.
But now, the word Bucha is synonymous with Putin's barbarism â yet another unwelcome reminder of man's capacity for evil in a battle that has already drawn far too many uneasy parallels with WWII.
Moscow says that no civilians were killed or structures destroyed when Bucha was under its hands, just as they deny targeting innocent people in the fury of explosives that rained down on Mariupol's harbor. Only the most gullible of fellow travelers in the free world will be duped. Human Rights Watch said Wednesday that it had evidence of Russian war crimes including as "serial rape" and "summary killings."