Boris Johnson accuses Putin of war crimes in Ukraine following 'despicable' Bucha attacks

Boris Johnson has accused Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes in Ukraine, following the “despicable attacks” against civilians in Irpin and Bucha.

The Prime Minister accused the Russian president of being “desperate” and said he would do “everything in his power” to “starve Putin’s war machine” after fresh footage emerged over the weekend of devastation and mass casualties left behind by the Russian forces.

His comments came after Foreign Secretary Liz Truss renewed calls for the “indiscriminate” attacks to be investigated as war crimes.

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In a statement, Mr Johnson said: “Russia’s despicable attacks against innocent civilians in Irpin and Bucha are yet more evidence that Putin and his army are committing war crimes in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in London last week

“No denial or disinformation from the Kremlin can hide what we all know to be the truth — Putin is desperate, his invasion is failing, and Ukraine’s resolve has never been stronger.

“I will do everything in my power to starve Putin’s war machine. We are stepping up our sanctions and military support, as well as bolstering our humanitarian support package to help those in need on the ground.

“The UK has been at the forefront of supporting the international Criminal Court’s investigation into atrocities committed in Ukraine. The Justice Secretary has authorised additional financial support and the deployment of specialist investigators — we will not rest until justice is served.”

Over the weekend, the Associated Press said that its journalists in Bucha, north-west of Kyiv, watched as Ukrainian soldiers used cables to drag bodies off a street, done so from a distance due to fears they may be booby-trapped.

AP said its journalists counted at least six bodies, adding that locals said they were civilians killed without provocation by Russian soldiers.

The various reports provoked Ms Truss to say that the UK will fully support any investigations by the International Criminal Court, adding that the UK-led effort to expedite and support an International Criminal Court investigation into crimes in Ukraine was “the largest State referral in its history”.

She said in a statement: “As Russian troops are forced into retreat, we are seeing increasing evidence of appalling acts by the invading forces in towns such as Irpin and Bucha.

“Their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians during Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine must be investigated as war crimes.

“We will not allow Russia to cover up their involvement in these atrocities through cynical disinformation.

“And will ensure that the reality of Russia’s actions are brought to light.”