This story contains graphic descriptions and images.
Ukrainian law enforcement officers have discovered a torture room in Bucha, just outside Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office.
Russian forces have tortured and killed civilians inside the torture room, the office claimed.
“Soldiers of the Russian Federation armed forces tortured unarmed civilians and then killed them,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a Facebook post about the alleged torture room.
The Prosecutor General's Office shared photos it says depict several Ukrainians that were killed in the room. The Daily Beast has not independently verified the photos, although Reuters provided photos of the men allegedly killed in the room.
The discovery is the latest in a series of horrific disclosures about alleged Russian atrocities in Ukraine since the war began in February. Just this weekend Ukrainian authorities and journalists uncovered mass graves with Ukrainians shot dead, allegedly by Russian forces, in Bucha. Images of dead naked women, some of them burned, have also emerged from Bucha in the last several days. Ukrainians have also had their hands bound behind their backs, and been shot dead in the streets, images taken in the city show.
And although Russia has denied the allegations that it has been behind the string of disturbing killings, suggesting that they happened after Russia began to withdraw from the region, satellite imagery shared with The Daily Beast and first reported by The New York Times reveals Russia is lying through its teeth. Many of the dead bodies in question were on the streets of Bucha approximately 20 days before Russia withdrew.
Satellite imagery from private company Maxar Technologies shared with The Daily Beast Sunday appears to show a 45-foot-long trench dug in Bucha as well—the excavation of which began March 10, well in advance of Russian troops’ withdrawal, Maxar said.
President Joe Biden labeled Russian President Vladimir Putin a “war criminal” Monday and said that Putin should be tried for war crimes as the disturbing images emerged from Bucha and other cities in Ukraine.
Already, the International Criminal Court, along with a Ukrainian investigation, is probing alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the killings a "genocide," while the Biden administration stopped short of using the label. But Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Monday that label still hasn’t been ruled out.
Sullivan suggested that Ukrainians and the rest of the world should be prepared for more heartless attacks and grim images to emerge from Ukraine, even as Russia works to change its ground game to focus more on eastern regions of the country.
“We should be under no illusions that Russia will adjust its tactics, which have included and will likely continue to include… brazen attacks on civilian targets,” Sullivan said in a briefing Monday, warning that although Moscow is retreating from Kyiv, Russia forces will likely continue to launch air and missile strikes in Ukraine.
The images of the atrocities in Ukraine have rallied world leaders to step up the sanctions against Russia—the European Union is working on a new sanctions package rollout, and the Biden administration is preparing to announce new sanctions against Russia later this week, according to the White House.