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UN chief calls for independent probe into civilian killings in Ukraine


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Sunday for an independent investigation into the killing of over 400 civilians in a Ukrainian city following the withdrawal of Russian troops there.

“I am deeply shocked by the images of civilians killed in Bucha, Ukraine,” Guterres said on Twitter.

“It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability.”

Earlier in the day, the bodies of at least 410 civilians were recovered in the city of Bucha near the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, said Ukraine's prosecutor-general.

On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry denied that its troops killed civilians while withdrawing from towns near Kyiv.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on international organizations to send experts to the country as soon as possible to collect evidence of war crimes committed by Russian troops.

On Saturday, Mikhail Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said the bodies of people with their hands tied and shot dead by Russian troops "lie in the streets" in Bucha.

The Russian war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the European Union, US and UK among others implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.

At least 1,417 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 2,038 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.

More than 4.1 million Ukrainians have also fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

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