Making yet another plea for Western weapons, the Ukrainian leader also called on Berlin to forget its war guilt and arm his forces
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky accused Russian forces of committing war crimes and demanded more weapons for the fight, in an interview with Reuters on Friday. The Ukrainian leader singled out Germany, where he said the legacy of the Nazis creates “psychological barriers” to sending heavy armaments.
Zelensky said that mass graves in the Kharkov region had been found containing “burials of many people,” including “entire families,” some of whom had been tortured. He claimed that “there is some evidence” that war crimes had been committed.
Ukraine re-established control over parts of the region last week, following an offensive and the withdrawal of Russian and Donbass troops stationed there.
Ukrainian officials then claimed to have found a mass grave near the city of Izium, prompting Western leaders and media outlets to condemn the “atrocities” allegedly committed by Russian forces.
While Moscow has not yet commented on the allegations, some reports from the area suggest that the corpses may have belonged to Ukrainian soldiers who were hastily buried by Russian troops after the Ukrainian military stopped collecting its dead earlier this summer.
The grave plots seen on some of the pictures were marked with crosses reading ‘VSU’, the Russian abbreviation for ‘Armed Forces of Ukraine’.
Zelensky has repeatedly accused Russia of committing war crimes, including the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol and the killing of civilians in Bucha. Moscow described the former event as a “staged provocation” by Ukraine, and the latter allegations as false.
In the interview with Reuters, Zelensky called for more countries to send weapons to his military. “We would want more help from Turkey, We would want more help from South Korea. More help from the Arab world. From Asia,” he said. Addressing Germany, which has exhausted its own military stockpiles to arm Ukraine and refuses to send its heavy battle tanks, Zelensky claimed that Germans have “certain psychological barriers” to increasing arms deliveries, stemming from their Nazi past.
While the Ukrainian president described Russia as “fascist,” Ukraine is the only country in the world to have integrated neo-Nazi militias into its regular armed forces, and Ukrainian troops, including Zelensky’s own bodyguards, are regularly photographed wearing Nazi insignia.
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