It has been one year since Ukrainian forces liberated Bucha from Russian forces. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, Moldovan President Maia Sandu, Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger, and Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob joined President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Friday in Bucha at a ceremony marking the grim anniversary.
When Ukranian soldiers recaptured the town, the scenes they encountered were horrific. Hundreds of bodies, including those of children, were discovered in the weeks that followed. Since then, Bucha has come to represent the brutality of Russia's military. The leaders called for Russia to be held accountable for the war crimes committed in Ukraine.
"Russia's evil will perish right here in Ukraine and it will never rise again. Humanity will prevail," Zelenskyy said.
This is the second visit by Prime Minister Plenković to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russia’s invasion of Ukriane on February 24, 2022. Plenković told Ukrainian official Croatia’s strong support for Ukriane will continue as long as it takes. At the commemoration, he praised the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people.
"The crimes that were committed here in Bucha reveal the true face of Russia's aggression, if anyone in the international community still had some doubts. It was clear to us from day one, from the 24th of February. Bucha tells us their true objective. It was the intimidation of the Ukrainian people, committing crimes, instilling fear, and trying to break the will of the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian leadership, the Ukrainian people, Ukrainian soldiers and police showed the world what it means to fight for freedom, to be patriotic and what it means to succeed,” said Pleknović.
Prime Minister Eduard Heger said that those who committed war crimes in Ukraine must be brought to justice.
“You have our support because you are on the right side of history. You have showed great leadership, you showed greatness in the 21st century in the fight for values such as human rights, freedom and democracy,” said Heger.
In October, Zagreb will host and International Donors' Conference on Humanitarian Demining in Ukraine, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said on Friday. Following the commemoration, the visiting leaders attended a summit in Kyiv focusing on Russia's responsibility for crimes committed in Ukraine.
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