Japanese newsreader Yumiko Matsuo breaking down after reading news about Bucha.
A Japanese newsreader broke down live on air while reading a story that Russian President Vladimir Putin honoured soldiers who oversaw Bucha massacre. The newsreader, identified as Yumiko Matsuo in videos circulating on social media, revealed her frustration over the news.
Ms Matsuo became overwhelmed with emotion as she read a line that said Russian president Vladimir Putin awarded the troops for being “a role model” for the country's “special military operations” in Ukraine.
In a video posted on Reddit, she is seen pausing momentarily while fighting back tears. Ms Matsuo composed herself before completing her segment.
“There are still many civilians stuck in the bunker. I'm so sorry, excuse me...” Ms Matsuo said while suddenly stopping during the live broadcast, according to Daily Mail. After taking a deep breath, she continued: “The Ukrainian war has entered a new phase...”
Users on Reddit praised the newsreader's courage, with one of them saying, “For Japanese people to show this in public is a huge deal.”
“Goes to show how deeply this all resonates on a soul-deep level. We all feel righteous rage and want to protect each other,” added another user.
Some users said they also cried and felt the same way as Ms Matsuo.
Earlier this week, Putin gave the honourary title of “Guards” to the 64th Separate Guards Motor Rifle Brigade which the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has 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."
Bucha is one of the worst-affected cities by the Russian invasion. After the Russian troops left the region to regroup for a fresh assault, Ukrainians found mass graves. A UN rights monitoring mission, which visited the city near Kyiv, said that 50 civilians had been killed there, including by summary execution.