Putin congratulated the unit for "protecting Russia's sovereignty"
Russian President Vladimir Putin has given the honourary title of “Guards” to the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade which the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence have accused of committing war crimes in Bucha. In a signed letter, Putin congratulated the unit for “protecting Russia's sovereignty” and stated that the unit acted with “great heroism and courage”. His full statement read, "Through astute and bold actions during the special military operation in Ukraine, the unit's staff became a role model in fulfilling its military duty, valour, dedication and professionalism."
Ukraine had earlier accused the invading Russian army of carrying out “war crimes” after mass graves were discovered in the region of Bucha following the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kyiv. The Kremlin has denied all the allegations to do with the killings in Bucha and claims these accusations are “baseless” while saying the pictures being shown are fake.
A team of experts from the forensic department of France's national gendarmerie has been working for several days to examine and identify those buried in the largest mass grave found to date in the devastated town.
The violence allegedly by invading Russian forces in Bucha has shocked the world. Local residents buried the bodies themselves during the bloody siege by the Russian army, which withdrew on March 30 after a month's occupation.
After their departure, bodies of men dressed in civilian clothes, some with their hands tied, were found scattered in the streets. The Hague-based International Criminal Court, which deals with rights abuses, has investigators in Ukraine and its chief has described the country as a "crime scene".