The Kremlin on Monday rejected accusations that Russian forces were responsible for killing civilians near Kyiv and suggested images of corpses were “fakes.”
“We categorically reject all allegations,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists.
Peskov said that Russian “experts at the ministry of defense have identified signs of video fakes and various fakes.”
“We would demand that many international leaders do not rush to sweeping accusations and at least listen to our arguments,” he said.
International journalists over the weekend found corpses in civilian clothes, some with their hands bound, in the town of Bucha outside Ukraine’s capital after Kyiv’s forces retook it from Russia’s army.
Ukraine and Western leaders have erupted in outrage over the discovery of mass graves and hundreds of dead people in Bucha, a small town northwest of Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky directly blamed Moscow for the “killings” of civilians.
Russia’s foreign ministry called for a special UN Security Council meeting Monday to address what it said was a “heinous provocation” to blame Russian forces.
“In the light of heinous provocation of Ukrainian radicals in #Bucha Russia requested a meeting of UN #SecurityCouncil on Monday April 4,” Dmitry Polyanskiy, Russia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday on Twitter.
UN authorities have yet to publicly state whether a Security Council emergency meeting will take place Monday.
The scale of the killings is still being pieced together, but Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said 410 civilian bodies had been recovered so far.
Bucha Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told AFP that 280 bodies were placed in mass graves because it was impossible to bury them in cemeteries within firing range.
Satellite imagery firm Maxar released pictures it said showed a mass grave located in the grounds of a church in the town.
Russian investigators also announced a probe into the images, saying that according to Moscow’s military they “do not correspond to reality and are provocative in nature.”