Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday compared Russia’s devastating assault on his country to the Nazis’ 1937 bombing of the northern Spanish town of Guernica in an address to Spain’s parliament.
Zelensky’s 10-minute video link speech came after he addressed the UN Security Council for the first time, demanding it expel Russia over its brutal invasion and that Moscow is held accountable for its atrocities against civilians.
“We never thought that we would once again see shocking images of bombings and massacres of innocent people on European soil,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said in brief remarks after Zelensky’s speech.
The Ukrainian leader’s latest addresses followed a wave of global outrage over the harrowing discoveries of civilian victims in Bucha and other towns near Kyiv after Russian troops pulled back.
So far, Ukrainian officials say over 400 civilian bodies have been recovered from the wider Kyiv region, many of which were buried in mass graves.
The Kremlin has denied any civilian killings and claimed that the images are fakes produced by Ukraine forces, or that the deaths occurred after Russian soldiers pulled out of the areas.
Europe’s worst conflict in decades has killed as many as 20,000 people, according to Ukrainian estimates.
Nearly 4.25 million Ukrainians have fled the country during Russia’s invasion, while a further 7.1 million are thought to be internally displaced within Ukraine, the UN said Tuesday.