An Amnesty International report released on Thursday includes testimonies from people in Ukraine who say they witnessed Russian forces executing civilians near the capital Kyiv.
Testimonies collected by Amnesty investigators on the ground in villages and towns near Kyiv, including Bucha, Vorzel, Hostomel and Bohdanivka, show “that unarmed civilians in Ukraine are in their homes and streets in acts of unspeakable cruelty and shocking brutality,” Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International Secretary-General, said in the report.
“These deaths must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible brought to justice, including up the chain of command,” Callamard said.
In a particularly shocking statement, a woman told Amnesty that two Russian soldiers killed her husband and “repeatedly raped her at gunpoint while their young son hid in a boiler room nearby.” The woman and her son were later able to flee their village east of Kyiv, Amnesty International said.
Other witnesses told Amnesty they saw or heard Russian forces shooting at unarmed civilians – in one case while the person was looking over a fence, in another because they didn’t have cigarettes.
Many Western governments have called for an independent investigation into possible Russian war crimes in Ukraine, and the United Nations General Assembly will vote Thursday on whether to bar Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. Russia has denied attacking civilians and claimed, without providing evidence, that images of atrocities were staged in Bucha.