India on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into the civilian killings in Ukraine’s Bucha town, saying that the incident was “deeply disturbing”, reported The Indian Express.

“The situation in Ukraine has not shown any significant improvement,” said India’s Permanent Representative at the United Nations TS Tirumurti at the UN Security Council meeting. “The security situation has only deteriorated, as well as its humanitarian consequences.”

The international community had also condemned the killing of civilians in Bucha, a town north of Kyiv. Videos and images shared on social media last week had shown bodies of several civilians on the streets after Russian forces had withdrawn from the town.

Some of the civilians had their hands tied back and seemed to have been shot from a close distance. The mayor of Bucha had said that the town was littered with bodies, and 280 people had been buried in a mass grave.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had called it genocide. Russia, however, had denied its role in the killings and accused Ukraine and western countries of staging a “false flag” operation – a political or military action carried out with the intention of blaming an opponent for it.

At the UN meeting, Tirumurti reiterated its call to end violence in Ukraine and advocated diplomacy to find a solution to the conflict.

“When innocent human lives are at stake, diplomacy must prevail as the only viable option,” he said, reported The Hindu.

This is the first time India has used such strong language at the UN with regard to the Ukraine crisis, or has condemned actions attributed to Russian forces.

India had earlier censured violence in the former Soviet country due to the Russian invasion but did not blamed Moscow directly. It has abstained from voting against Russia on the Security Council resolutions against Moscow’s invasion.

On Tuesday, Tirumurti also said India hopes the international community will continue to send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Tirumurti said that India has been sending humanitarian supplies to Ukraine and its neighbours, including medicines and other essential relief items.

“We stand ready to provide more medical supplies to Ukraine in the coming days,” he said.

Tirumurti also said that the conflict has hurt prices in India with the cost of fuel being hiked by Rs 9.20 in 15 days.

Global reaction to Bucha killings

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said that the images from Bucha were “a punch to the gut”.

“We have come out and said that we believe that Russian forces have committed war crimes and we’ve been working to document that,” he had said.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock had described the killings as unbearable. “Those responsible for these war crimes must be held accountable,” she had said.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss had blamed Russia for the attack and said that it must be investigated as war crime.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg had said it was “brutality against civilians” that has not been seen in Europe for decades.

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