Stop paying billions in blood money for Russian oil while our people die: Zelenskyy aide

4 April 2022, 13:01 | Updated: 4 April 2022, 13:05

Russian atrocities in Bucha have shocked the world
Russian atrocities in Bucha have shocked the world. Picture: Getty

By Will Taylor

Europe must stop its hefty payments to Russia for its oil as shocking revelations of war crimes in Ukraine emerge, an adviser to Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told LBC.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

His pleas come after the retreat of Russian troops from Bucha, near Kyiv, led to the revelation that hundreds of civilians have been killed.

Ukraine has said 410 bodies have been found in towns neighbouring the capital that have been retaken after Moscow gave up on trying to seize the city.

Satellite images also showed a mass grave near a church in Bucha, which has become the focal point of attention being paid to Russian atrocities in the country – which Ukraine has repeatedly alleged are being perpetrated.

President Zelenskyy branded Russian forces as "murderers" and "rapists", and speaking to LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast on Monday, his economic adviser called for European countries to stop sending massive payments for Russian gas in response.

Read more: Ukrainian refugee sent sleazy messages from men after appealing for host

Read more: 'Look what you raised': Zelenskyy says Russian mothers should be shown Bucha 'genocide'

Oleg Ustenko said: "You guys are sending in Europe - you continue to send £1bn US dollars for Russian oil daily, daily, and then you're just wondering why the war has not stopped yet.

"Please, please stop immediately. We know for sure that people of these countries are on our side - it's not the time to tolerate those politicians who are still thinking they have enough time to discuss to make the policy decision… we already are sick and tired of that."

Read more: Russian troops accused of slaughtering civilians as they withdraw from Bucha near Kyiv

He said 250 children have been killed in the invasion and claimed there are at least 1,000 reports of children and women over 60 being raped.

"We know all about these mass graves in Bucha and other places and I'm very much sure that more will appear so we have to act," he said.

"Can you imagine how many missiles and bombs and other weapons you can buy with £1bn dollars per day?"

The revelations from Bucha have shocked the world, and combined with Russian strikes on civilian areas in other parts of the country – including the devastated southern city of Mariupol – it paints a grim picture of the toll of Russian occupation.

Bucha's mayor Anatoly Fedoruk said some victims found in the street were wearing white bandages, indicating to Russian troops that they were not armed, and some had their hands tied behind their backs.

Others had been thrown into the mass graves. Some 280 corpses being found buried on Saturday.

Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine's prosecutor-general, 410 civilians' bodies have so far been recovered from Kyiv-area towns.

Mr Zelenskyy said: "Mothers of Russian soldiers should see that. See what b******s you've raised.

"Murderers, looters and butchers."

It appears now Moscow is trying to boost its campaign in the south and east of the country, having given up on its advance on Kyiv.