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LONDON: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday the alleged massacre of Ukrainian civilians by Russian troops in the town of Bucha “doesn’t look far short of genocide to me”.

The UK government has consistently refused to use the word “genocide” with regard to Ukraine and other conflicts, arguing that designating the worst of war crimes is up a competent court.

But Johnson told reporters: “I’m afraid when you look at what’s happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what (Vladimir) Putin has done in Ukraine doesn’t look far short of genocide to me.

“It is no wonder people are responding in the way that they are,” the prime minister added.

US, allies ready new Russia sanctions after Bucha killings

“I have no doubt that the international community, Britain very much in the front rank, will be moving again in lockstep to impose more sanctions and more penalties on Vladimir Putin’s regime.”

Western allies are readying new sanctions against Russia, after Ukraine’s president showed the UN Security Council harrowing images of violence and accused Moscow of widespread atrocities.

The measures follow an international outcry after Ukrainian officials said hundreds of civilians were found dead in areas from which Russian troops have withdrawn around Ukraine’s capital. That wider area includes the town of Bucha.

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