‘Absurdity, evil’: UN chief after visiting 'war crime' sites in Ukraine

Published on Apr 28, 2022 09:03 PM IST

UN chief Antonio Guterres reached Kyiv, capital of Ukraine on Wednesday, following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the meeting, he reiterated calls for Moscow and Kyiv to work together to establish “safe and effective humanitarian corridors in war-torn Ukraine”.

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, center, stands on the side of a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, April 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres, center, stands on the side of a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, on Thursday, April 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Aniruddha Dhar, New Delhi

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Thursday said war in itself is a crime, and an “absurdity in the 21st century”. He made the statements during his visit to sites in Ukraine where Russian troops have been accused of committing war crimes.

Speaking to reporters in Bucha, a suburb of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Guterres urged Russia to cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) on investigations into war crimes.

“I appeal to the Russian Federation to accept to cooperate with the International Criminal Court,” the UN chief could be heard saying in a video shared by news agency AFP.

Guterres also took to his Twitter account to post a picture of himself in Bucha, and captioned it as “War is evil”. This is his first visit to the strife-torn east European nation since the Russian invasion started on February 24.

During his visit to Borodianka, a ruined town northeast of Kyiv, Guterres said, “I imagine my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black. I see my granddaughters running away in panic.”

In Bucha, at least 20 bodies in civilian clothes, with some of them having their hands tied, were found earlier this month. Ukraine has accused retreating Russian troops of committing war crimes by executing the civilians. The discovery has since impacted peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

The UN chief, meanwhile, reached Kyiv on Wednesday, following talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. At the meeting, Guterres reiterated calls for both Moscow and Kyiv to work together to establish “safe and effective humanitarian corridors in war-torn Ukraine”.

Guterres is scheduled to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky later in the day, and hold talks with him.

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