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Secretary-General António Guterres today (28 Apr) visited sites of suspected war crimes in Ukraine where he condemned the “evil” acts committed against civilians and urged criminal accountability.

The UN chief’s visit to the Kyiv suburbs of Borodyanka, Bucha and Irpin comes nine weeks since the Russian invasion began. Guterres urged Russia “to accept to cooperate” with the ongoing investigation launched by the International Criminal Court, the ICC.


Speaking from Bucha, where disturbing images of dead civilians lying in the street sparked worldwide outrage earlier this month, Guterres said, “when we see this horrendous site, it makes me feel how important it is a thorough investigation and accountability.”

In Bucha he visited the churchyard of St Andrew the First-Called All Saints where until recently there was a mass grave where hundreds of people had been buried.

He added, “I fully support the International Criminal Court and I appeal to the Russian Federation to accept to cooperate with the International Criminal Court.”

Surveying destroyed buildings in Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv, the Secretary-General also called the war “an absurdity.”

He said, “I must say what I feel. I imagined my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black,” adding, “I see my granddaughters running away in panic, part of the family eventually killed. So, the war is an absurdity in the 21st century. The war is evil.”

In Irpin, where Guterres visited the destroyed Irpinsky Lipki residential complex, he said that the “horrific scenario demonstrates something that is unfortunately, always true: civilians always pay the highest price.”

According to UNOSAT, 71 percent of Irpin was destroyed.