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Poland holds exhibition in Brussels about Bucha massacre

31.03.2023 19:00
The Polish government has marked one year since the Russian massacre of civilians in Ukraine’s town of Bucha by holding a special exhibition in Brussels, Belgium, according to news reports.
A new exhibition at the Council of the European Union in Brussels educates the viewing public on the Russian massacre of civilians in Ukraines town of Bucha.
A new exhibition at the Council of the European Union in Brussels educates the viewing public on the Russian massacre of civilians in Ukraine’s town of Bucha.Twitter/Poland in the EU

Entitled Bucha: The Atrocities of Russian Aggression, the showcase was launched at the Council of the European Union on Friday, thanks to efforts by the Polish ambassador to the EU, Andrzej Sadoś, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

The exhibition features paintings created by Polish artist Andrzej Foggt in response to the Bucha massacre, which was discovered on March 31, 2022, officials said.

Justyna Napiórkowska, who curated the exhibition, described Foggt’s paintings as “extremely expressive,” with “black contours, which symbolise the barbarity of the Russian army,” and “fueled by pure anger at what happened.”

The display also features documentary footage and photographs from the battlefields of Ukraine’s war against Russian aggression, collected by Ukrainian journalists and reporters, the IAR news agency reported. 

Sadoś told Polish Radio: “I believe it is very important that our work at the Council of the EU, our everyday settling of European affairs, is accompanied by reflection, in this case reflection prompted by art with immense emotional power.”

‘Ukraine will never forgive Russian troops for Bucha massacre’: Zelensky

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Friday that his country would “never forgive” Russian soldiers responsible for the atrocities in Bucha, the Reuters news agency reported. 

Leading an anniversary ceremony at which Ukraine’s flag was hoisted in Bucha, Zelensky vowed: “Russian evil will collapse right here in Ukraine, and will never be able to rise again. Humanity will prevail."

The president gave out medals to soldiers who took part in the liberation of the town, as well as awarding posthumous medals to fallen soldiers, whose relatives received the distinctions on their behalf. 

Zelensky said: "When Bucha was de-occupied, we saw that the devil was not somewhere out there but on the ground. The heinous truth about what was happening in the temporarily occupied territories was revealed to the world." 

The Ukrainian leader called Bucha a "symbol of the atrocities" of Russia’s occupying army and stated emphatically: "We will never forgive. We will punish every perpetrator."

"We will never forget the victims of this war, and we will certainly bring all Russian murderers to justice," Zelensky pledged on social media.

He was accompanied at Friday’s outdoor ceremony by Moldova’s President Maia Sandu and the prime ministers of Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia, Andrej Plenković, Eduard Geger and Robert Golob, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. 

Sandu said: "We honour and grieve the innocent. Democracies must work together to ensure that these atrocities are investigated and punished."

People found in mass graves and torture chambers

Ukrainian forces recaptured the towns of Bucha and Irpin to the northwest of Kyiv in late March 2022, as Russian invasion forces abandoned their bid to seize Ukraine’s capital, according to news outlets.

The Kremlin denies accusations of executions, rapes and torture by its occupying soldiers who left bodies in the streets when they fled. 

Images of ravaged streets littered with civilian bodies were broadcast across the world after Ukraine liberated Bucha, news agencies reported.

Ukraine says that more than 1,400 people were killed in Bucha during the Russian occupation, including 37 children; more than 175 people were found in mass graves and torture chambers, and 9,000 Russian war crimes have been identified, according to the Reuters news agency. 

International investigators are currently collecting evidence of war crimes in Irpin, Bucha and other places, officials said.

Since the massacre, multiple investigations, including a detailed United Nations report, have established Russian culpability for the attacks, the European Union’s EU vs Disinfo website reported.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said his office had identified close to 100 Russian soldiers suspected of war crimes in Bucha and indictments against 35 of them had been sent to court, according to Reuters. 

Among them is a three-star general who commands Russia's Central Military District, Kostin added. 

'Russia's planned strategy to destroy Ukraine'

So far, few of the Russian suspects are in Ukrainian custody, but officials are hopeful they can be eventually prosecuted, reporters were told. 

Kostin told reporters he was convinced that the Russian atrocities “are not a coincidence.”

“This is part of Russia's planned strategy to destroy Ukraine as a state and Ukrainians as a nation," he said, as quoted by the Reuters news agency.

Friday is day 401 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.


Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters, RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty