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Russia to present its own version of alleged mass killings near Ukrainian capital

Moscow says it will present UN with documents about ‘real nature’ of alleged mass killings in Bucha; bodies of 5 tortured men found in basement of a children’s health facility

Journalists stand by a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 4, 2022. Russia is facing a fresh wave of condemnation after evidence emerged of what appeared to be deliberate killings of civilians in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
Journalists stand by a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 4, 2022. Russia is facing a fresh wave of condemnation after evidence emerged of what appeared to be deliberate killings of civilians in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

MOSCOW, Russia — Russia will later Monday present “documents” to the United Nations about the “real nature” of the events in Bucha near Kyiv, where it has been accused of mass killings.

Moscow has called for a UN Security Council meeting on what its deputy ambassador to the body called a “heinous provocation of Ukrainian radicals in Bucha.”

On Sunday, Ukrainian prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova said 410 civilian bodies had been recovered in the wider Kyiv region after Russian troops pulled back.

In Bucha, the local mayor said 280 people were buried in mass graves because they could not be buried in cemeteries that were within firing range.

AFP on Saturday saw the bodies of at least 22 people in civilian clothes on a single street in Bucha.

In another instance, the bodies of five men tortured and killed by Russian troops were found in the basement of a children’s health facility, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office said on Monday.

A neighbor comforts Natalya, whose husband and nephew were killed by Russian forces, as she cries in her garden in Bucha, Ukraine, April 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

“In the basement of one of the children’s sanatoriums, police found the bodies of five men with their hands tied,” a statement on Telegram said.

The unarmed civilians were beaten before being killed by “soldiers of the armed forces of the Russian Federation,” it said.

Photos showing the bodies accompanied the statement.

An investigation into the circumstances of their deaths has been opened, prosecutor Iryna Venediktova’s office added.

Russia has “categorically” denied any role in civilian killings in Bucha. Lavrov has spoken of fake images and a “disinformation” campaign.

“Today, through our permanent representative (at the UN), we will organize a press conference in which precise documents will be presented on the real nature of events,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

The press conference will be held at 1930 GMT at the UN headquarters in New York.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a joint press conference with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) president (not shown), following their talks in Moscow on March 24, 2022. (Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV / POOL / AFP)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accuses Russian troops of being behind the killings, saying: “These are war crimes and it will be recognized by the world as genocide.”

US President Joe Biden called for a “war crimes trial” over the alleged atrocities in Bucha and said he would seek “more sanctions” against Moscow.

Russia began what it calls a military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

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