Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a speech Friday that the situation in the city of Borodyanka is “much worse” than in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where over 300 people were tortured and killed.
Driving the news: Zelensky said that there are “even more victims” in Borodyanka, which is approximately 15 miles from Bucha.
- Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, said that in the Kyiv region — which includes Bucha and Borodyanka — authorities had found “650 dead bodies,” and of those, “40 dead bodies” were children, per Reuters.
Catch-up fast: The Ukrainian president had said earlier this week that he believed the death toll in Borodyanka and in other cities that Ukraine recently reclaimed from Russian forces “may be even higher” than that in Bucha.
What he’s saying: “[S]o far, the Russian state and the Russian military are the greatest threat on the planet to freedom, to human security, to the concept of human rights as such. After Bucha, this is already obvious,” Zelensky said.
- “And the work on dismantling the debris in Borodyanka began. It’s much worse there,” Zelensky added. “Even more victims of the Russian occupiers.”
- Zelensky said the attacks on the Kyiv region resulted in “mass killings of civilians,” adding that he knows that Russian authorities are already working to create “a false campaign to conceal their guilt in the mass killings.”
- “I want to say right away: Every normal person in the world understands who brought war and mass deaths to Ukrainian land. There is ample evidence that it is Russian troops who destroy peaceful cities, abduct, torture, kill civilians.”
Between the lines: National security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday, “We have seen atrocities, we have seen war crimes, we have not yet seen a level of systematic deprivation of life of the Ukrainian people to rise to the level of genocide.”
- President Biden has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should face a war crimes trial over the reported atrocities in Bucha.
Go deeper: Dead civilians in streets of Bucha, near Kyiv, after Russian troops retreat