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Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of genocide after the discovery of hundreds of bodies in the town of Butcha, near the captial Kyiv. Images of mass graves and bodies showing signs of torture have sparked widespread international condemnation. Several EU countries are now pushing for tougher sanctions against Russia. Moscow claims the killings were staged.
Germany declared 40 Russian diplomats “undesirable persons,” meaning they must return to Russia, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced. The affected individuals, whom Berlin believes to be members of Russia’s intelligence services, will have five days to leave Germany.
Baerbock spoke of “a significant number of members of the Russian embassy, undesirables who have worked every day here in Germany against our freedom, against the cohesion of our society.”
“We will not tolerate this any longer,” she said.
The decision was communicated to Russian Ambassador Sergei Nethayev, after he was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Monday.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it would respond accordingly to Germany’s decision to expel the 40 Russian diplomats, according to Interfax news agency. Though details on how Moscow would respond were not provided, tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions have been very common in recent weeks, months and even years.
US President Joe Biden on Monday said that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal.” Similar comments have drawn critical responses from Moscow in the past.
“This guy is brutal, and what’s happening in Bucha is outragreous,” said Biden, also pledging further sanctions against Russia.
Biden however stopped short of using the word “genocide” employed by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
00:00 Bucha massacre draws international condemnation
02:27 DW Correspondent Nick Connolly reports from Ukraine
07:48 International Rescue Committee calls for diplomatic solution
10:20 Germany, France expel Russian diplomats
14:10 US President Biden says Putin should face war crimes trial
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