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Indonesia calls for ‘independent’ Bucha killings probe

JAKARTA (AFP) – Indonesia called on Thursday for an “independent” probe into the alleged massacre of Ukrainian civilians by Russian troops in the town of Bucha.

The call follows an international outcry after Ukrainian officials said hundreds of civilians were found executed in areas where Russian soldiers have withdrawn around the capital Kyiv. The Southeast Asian country, which will chair the G20 summit on the resort island of Bali in November, declared its support for a United Nations (UN) initiative to set up an independent team to investigate the killings.

Indonesia presents itself as an unaligned middle power and has so far refrained from condemning Russia publicly since its invasion of Ukraine in February.

“We hope there will be an independent investigation team to shed the clearest light on what has happened, independent from various reports we have been following,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told a press briefing.

Indonesia holds the presidency for G20 this year and has said it will hold the summit in an “impartial” manner despite pressure from Western nations for Russia to be excluded.

The discovery of hundreds of dead civilians in Bucha prompted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to condemn the killings as “war crimes” and “genocide”.

Moscow denies the accusations that its units were responsible, claiming the harrowing images of the dead were either faked or that the killings happened after its forces withdrew.

A woman mourns the death of her husband, killed in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine. PHOTO: AP