Commentary on Political Economy

Monday, 4 April 2022


Ukraine Live Updates: Support Grows to Ban Russian Gas After Evidence of Atrocities

Germany’s defense minister said the E.U. should consider cutting off Russian fuel, a move that leaders had refused to do so far. Russia appeared to be regrouping to fight in the south and east.

ImageWidespread destruction across Bucha, Ukraine.
Credit...Ivor Prickett for The New York Times

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine.

Moscow is facing calls for international investigations and harsher sanctions — even a ban on its gas industry — because of growing evidence that Russian forces committed atrocities against civilians in Ukraine.

Cutting off the supply of Russian gas would be a remarkable step for the European Union, which relies heavily on Russian fuel and has so far rebuffed mounting calls, including from President Biden, to impose energy-related penalties against them.

But momentum could be building for such a move as world leaders express horror at images that appeared to show dead civilians, some with their hands bound behind their backs, strewn in the streets of Bucha, a town near Kyiv, after Russia withdrew troops. President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, each described Russia’s actions as genocide.

“The Russian authorities will have to answer for these crimes,” France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, said Sunday. António Guterres, the United Nations secretary general, called for an independent investigation that leads to “effective accountability.” Ukraine wants an investigation by the International Criminal Court.

In what would mark a significant shift in her country’s position, Germany’s defense minister, Christine Lambrecht, said that because of what happened in Bucha, the bloc should consider banning Russian gas imports. Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, said on Twitter that more sanctions against Russia “are on their way.”

In Bucha, residents were still finding bodies in yards and roadways days after Russian troops withdrew. At a mass grave — about a dozen yards long and two yards wide — a pile of excavated dirt lay nearby to pile onto bodies. In one corner, two pairs of shoes and an arm protruded from a thin layer of dirt, and in another, a hand stuck out.

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