The EU will send a team of investigators to Ukraine to probe alleged war crimes on the ground, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Monday, after holding phone talks with the country’s president Volodymyr Zelensky. The move comes after multiple dead civilians were found in Bucha, a suburb of the capital, over the weekend, with Kiev promptly attributing the killings to Russian troops.
“This afternoon I spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the dreadful murders that have been uncovered in Bucha and other areas from which Russian troops have recently left,” von der Leyen said in a statement.
The investigative team dispatched by the EU will not act as an independent entity but will assist Ukrainian authorities in collecting evidence on site, the official signaled.
“The EU has set up a Joint Investigation Team with Ukraine to collect evidence and investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity,” von der Leyen explained. “The EU is ready to reinforce this effort by sending investigation teams on the ground to support the Ukrainian Prosecution Services. Eurojust and Europol are ready to assist.”