Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense blasted Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s push for a “truce” between Russia and Ukraine, calling it “the most heinous offer ever made.”
Lukashenko, close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, warned on Friday that the war in Ukraine must come to a peaceful end “before an escalation begins.”
“I’ll take the risk of suggesting an end of hostilities … a declaration of a truce,” the Belarusian leader said during a televised speech.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov also quickly dismissed the proposal, according to a report from The Moscow Times, telling a reporter Friday, “The special military operation is continuing, since this is the only way to achieve the goals that our country has today.”
The Ukrainian defense ministry rejected the call for peace over Twitter on Friday, saying: “The most heinous offer ever made. On the anniversary of Bucha’s liberation, the Belarusian dictator proposed a truce with russia,” read the tweet. “russian butchers and rapists came to Bucha from Belarus. It was from Belarus that they sent home the property looted from Bucha.”
After Russia launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022, Bucha, just a few miles west of Kyiv, fell under Russian occupation for several weeks. After Russian troops withdrew from the city on March 31, 2022, videos began to emerge of the alleged war crimes committed by Russian troops while they had control of the city.
The Ukrainian defense ministry posted a video on Friday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Bucha’s liberation. In the four-minute clip, a woman tells soldiers who were meeting with citizens of the recently de-occupied city, “We had such hell here. It was such hell. What can I say?”
Russian state media and officials claimed that the massacre was staged.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during the Bucha Summit on Friday that the city needed to become “a symbol of justice” for the world. The summit, the first of its kind, was dedicated to discussing ways to hold Russia accountable for their alleged war crimes.
“We must do everything to make Bucha a symbol of justice,” Zelensky said. “Justice for Ukraine, for Europe, for the whole world. That every Russian murderer, executioner and terrorist answer for every crime against our people, against humanity as such. Everything what happened in Bucha, the Russian army carries wherever it goes.”
According to the Ukrainian president, Russian occupiers killed over 1,400 civilians in the Bucha district.
Newsweek has reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry via email for comment.