The Chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, instructed his agency on Monday to analyze reports of civilian killings in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, echoing the Russian Defense Ministry’s denial of any involvement in the incident.
Shocking images of the bodies of civilians found on the streets in Bucha, following the withdrawal of Russian forces, have prompted an international outcry.
Ukraine’s interior minister said Monday that he expected the number of bodies of civilians recovered in the Kyiv region to number in the hundreds, citing preliminary information.
The Investigative Committee has a record of launching politically motivated investigations, including pursuing criminal cases against Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Human rights advocates have described those investigations as a thinly veiled campaign of political persecution.
The Kremlin on Monday again questioned the reports regarding Bucha, and rejected all accusations of Russian military involvement.
“We categorically reject any accusations,” he continued.
Peskov proposed a discussion on the incident at the UN Security Council meeting, saying such an initiative has been put forward by Russia, and blocked.
When asked if these accusations from the Ukrainian officials would affect the course of the bilateral negotiations, Peskov declined to comment, saying he had no update on the timing of the next rounds of Russia-Ukraine talks.
Western leaders have called for war crime investigations and fresh sanctions on Russia over the incident in Bucha.