VILNIUS - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Lithuanian Seimas on Tuesday and expressed his doubt about Europe's determination to stop Russia's war crimes in Ukraine amid the ongoing invasion.
"There is still no clarity on Russian gas, so no one can be sure that there is common will in Europe to stop Russia's war crimes", the Ukrainian leader said, referring to the EU's continuous failure to agree to ban imports of Russia's key energy resources – gas and oil.
Zelensky says thousands of civilians have been brutally killed since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
"Every day we find bodies of people tied up in sewers and basements, tortured. There are villages that used to be large and now have no people", the Ukrainian president said
BUCHA – BRUTALITY SYMBOL
The events in Kyiv's suburb of Bucha are only a symbol of what is happening in other parts of Ukraine, he said.
"We can take any city, any village, where the occupiers are doing the same thing," the Ukrainian president said. "Everywhere where the occupiers have gone – streets, squares, roads, gardens – people are buried."
"The whole world knows the name of Bucha, but it is just one of the symbols of the crimes committed by the Russian soldiers," he said, adding that the massacres by the Kremlin forces have left "thousands of children without parents".
Nevertheless, the Ukrainian president pointed out that the Kremlin forces are changing their tactics and "no longer leave bodies in the streets, but take them away and, most likely, burn them".
"It is hard to imagine what is happening in Mariupol as it has been completely destroyed. It is even worse there", he said.
Zelensky also said that since the start of the war, "hundreds of thousands" of Ukrainians have been deported to Russia in order to silence them and to prevent them from speaking about the ongoing crimes.
"Hundreds of cases of rape have been documented, including those of underage girls and even very young children, and even a baby," the Ukrainian president said. "It's terrible to talk about it, but it's the truth and it happened."
He said the soldier who raped the minor had been identified.
"This is a paratrooper from Pskov, (Alexei - BNS) Bychkov who sent his friends a video of what he was doing to the baby, how he was abusing the baby. That's what the Russian soldier is, that child protector, that's what the special operation planned in Moscow is, that's the story of how the Russian world is being fought for," Zelensky said.
"Now the Russian army will be associated with this, the paratroopers from Pskov with the rape of a baby", he added.
Zelensky stressed that it was not only the soldiers who were responsible for this, but also the political leaders who give orders and justify such behavior, the propagandists who cover up the crimes. However, he doubted whether the guilty would be punished.
"Why is this happening? The cynical answer is that they are convinced that they will avoid punishment, they know that the world and Europe will make sure this is forgotten," the Ukrainian leader said.