Aluminium giant Rusal has become the first Russian company to publicly call for an investigation into the alleged war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha.
“Being interested in putting an end to the conflict in this European country as quickly as possible, we are closely watching the events there, in the hope that this horror and tragedy will finally stop,” company chair Bernard Zonneveld said in a statement.
“Reports from the Ukrainian city of Bucha shocked us. We believe that this crime should be thoroughly investigated,” he wrote on the company website.
Zonneveld, a former investment banker, called for an impartial investigation and “severe” punishment for the perpetrators.
Bucha, a city on the northwestern outskirts of Kyiv, is the scene of an alleged massacre of hundreds of civilians seemingly uncovered following Russia’s withdrawal from areas around the Ukrainian capital.
Kyiv has accused Russia of the killings, supported by witness statements to independent journalists. Moscow has claimed the massacre was staged by Ukrainian forces.
“Despite the brutality of the current events in Ukraine in themselves, such incidents make this terrible tragedy all the more traumatic,” Zonneveld said.
“We all wish an early end to this fratricidal conflict, which destroys lives, families and entire cities. And we want those responsible for such crimes to be punished appropriately.”
Zonneveld’s statement came after Rusal’s largest shareholder, Oleg Deripaska, who had to give up control of the company after US sanctions against him in 2018, called for peace.
Rusal’s shares rose 0.7% in early Hong Kong trading on Friday.
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