Zelensky claims Russia troops are ‘cutting out civilians’ tongues’ and want to make Ukrainians ‘silent slaves’


Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian troops of “cutting out civilians’ tongues” in Ukraine among a list of gruesome atrocities.

Speaking to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Mr Zelensky told council members about alleged attacks that had taken place by Russian president Vladimir Putin’s troops “just for pleasure” in recently liberated towns in Ukraine.

Appearing via video link, Mr Zelensky described how civilians had been shot in the back of the head after being tortured, blown up with grenades in their homes and crushed to death by tanks while in cars.

He added that those responsible should immediately be brought up on war crimes charges in front of a tribunal like the one set up at Nuremberg after World War Two.

“They cut off limbs, cut their throats. Women were raped and killed in front of their children. Their tongues were pulled out only because the aggressor did not hear what they wanted to hear from them,” he said.

Volodymyr Zelensky speaking to the UN Security Council

(Getty Images)

Likening the troop’s actions to those of the Islamic State, Mr Zelensky said: “The Russian military and those who gave them orders must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes in Ukraine.

“Anyone who has given criminal orders and carried them out by killing our people will be brought before the tribunal which should be similar to the Nuremberg trials.”

He continued: “Russia wants to turn Ukraine into silent slaves. The Russian military is looting openly the cities and villages they have captured. This is why it’s called looting. They are stealing everything, starting with food and with earrings – gold earrings that are pulled out and covered with blood.”

His comments come after distressing images of what appeared to be civilian massacres carried out by Russian troops on the outskirts of Kyiv surfaced over the last few days, leading several Western nations to expel dozens more of Moscow’s diplomats.

Since then, an increase in sanctions on Russia has also been proposed, including a ban on coal imports.

Mr Zelensky has also stressed that Bucha is not the only place that has suffered such horrors.

Russia continues to denounce the images as fake and suggests they were staged by the Ukrainians. However, high-resolution satellite imagery from Maxar Technologies showed that many bodies had been lying in the open for weeks, during the time that Russian forces were in the town.

Ukrainian officials said that the bodies of at least 410 civilians have been found in towns around Kyiv.

Mr Zelensky, who visited Bucha on Monday, added that there was “not a single crime” that Russian troops hadn’t committed in Bucha.

“The Russian military searched for and purposefully killed anyone who served our country. They shot and killed women outside their houses when they just tried to call someone who is alive. They killed entire families, adults, and children, and they tried to burn the bodies,” he said.

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