Bucha massacre perpetrators 'will be brought to justice,' says Belgian PM

Bucha massacre perpetrators 'will be brought to justice,' says Belgian PM
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Ukrainian First Lady Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Credit: Belga / Philip Reynaers

The perpetrators of the Bucha massacre are "murderers [who] will be brought to justice for their crimes", Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in an emotional video message to attendees of the Bucha Summit in Ukraine, held on the anniversary of the massacre on Friday.

"Today we honour these citizens of Ukraine cut down by an army and a regime that deny the right of existence of the Republic and the people of Ukraine," the Prime Minister said. "The Russian soldiers who committed these massacres must know that they will not be quietly forgotten. For they are murderers, and they will be brought to justice for their crimes."

He added: "The commanding officers who did not restrain their troops, but on the contrary, encouraged them, will not retire peacefully. For they too are war criminals and shall be brought to justice."

De Croo also denounced Russia's "criminal dictatorship" for its responsibility for the slaughter, and claimed that "the generals who planned and organised this aggression... already know their fate: death in battle or life imprisonment ordered by an international court."

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In his closing remarks, De Croo suggested that Ukraine is fighting not only for its territorial integrity and future as a nation, but also for "our common values and for the preservation of the rules-based international order." He also reiterated Belgium's continued commitment to supporting Ukraine: "We will support you in defeating the aggressor, in documenting these horrific crimes and in bringing these criminals to justice."

On 31 March, 2022, the Russian Army pulled out of Bucha, a city just north of Kiev. Shortly after the withdrawal, hundreds of mutilated bodies were discovered, including 73 corpses found in a mass grave near the city's main church.

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