'Barbarian invaders' must stand before tribunals says president

President Duda made the call during an address to the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, on Sunday. Jakub Szymczuk/KPRP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has called for the "barbarian invaders" of Ukraine to be held responsible for their actions in Bucza and other places if the world is to remain “just and free.”

President Duda made the call during an address to the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, on Sunday.

It was the first time a visiting head of state had addressed the parliament since the start of the war.

"Today, I stand in a beautiful and proud Kyiv, the capital of an free, independent and democratic Ukraine which, for nearly 90 days, has been fighting heroically against the barbarian invaders," Duda told parliament.

He pointed out that he made a visit to Kyiv on February 23, a day before the start of the Russian invasion, to express support for Ukraine and its people, and to assure them that Poland would stand united with the country.

The president also mentioned that he had paid another visit to Kyiv in mid-April to discuss aid for Ukraine.

"During that visit to Kyiv, I also went to Borodyanka and Irpien where, I saw with my own eyes the traces of a massacre, the magnitude of human misery, suffering, pain, the demolished homes, the unimaginable tragedy of your nation," he said.

"I know how terrible were the deeds committed in Bucza and other places by the barbarian invaders. They must answer for their deeds before international tribunals; this is necessary if the world is to remain just and free," noted Duda.

"Despite the great destruction, despite the terrible crimes and the tremendous suffering that the Ukrainian nation endures every day, the Russian invaders have not broken you, they have not managed to do it, and I believe deeply that they will never succeed," Duda said. "I want to say this with all my might: Ukraine is the face of the free world today."

In closing, he thanked parliament for granting him the honour to speak in a place where, as he said, "beats the heart of a free, independent and democratic Ukraine."

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