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Zelensky calls for Nuremberg-style trials following Russian 'war crimes' in Ukraine

The Ukrainian President said the atrocities committed in his country are the worst seen since the Second World War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the United Nations Security Council via video link

Sam Blewett

Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of committing the “most terrible war crimes” since the Second World War as he called for trials akin to those held after the defeat of the Nazis.

In a graphic address to the United Nations (UN) Security Council on Tuesday, the Ukrainian President accused his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin’s forces of creating “mass starvation” and shooting and raping civilians.

During the UK-convened meeting of the UN’s most powerful body, whose membership includes Russia, he called for those responsible to be “brought to justice” in a tribunal similar to the Nuremberg trials.

Mr Zelensky said the world has yet to see what the Kremlin’s troops have done in other regions after evidence of atrocities was unearthed after their withdrawal from Bucha, near Kyiv.

“Today, as a result of Russia’s actions in our country, in Ukraine, the most terrible war crimes we’ve seen since the end of World War Two are being committed,” he said in the virtual address.

“Russian troops are deliberately destroying Ukrainian cities to ashes with artillery and air strikes. They are deliberately blocking cities, creating mass starvation. They deliberately shoot columns of civilians on the road trying to escape from the hostilities.

“They even deliberately blow up shelters where civilians hide from air strikes.

“The massacre in our city of Bucha is unfortunately only one of many examples of what the occupiers have been doing on our land for the past 41 days.”

Mr Zelensky accused Russia of “wanting to turn Ukraine into silent slaves” and its military of “wide-scale looting”, stealing everything from food to bloodied jewellery.

He also accused the West of having “watched and did not want to see” the occupation of Crimea and the Georgian war.

“The Russian military and those who gave them orders must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes in Ukraine,” he said.

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

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