Video address by President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö to Bucha Summit on 31 March 2023

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A year ago, shocking images started coming out of the liberated town of Bucha. The horrors uncovered there shook us all. Russia’s invasion has brought immeasurable suffering to the people of Ukraine. In the face of these atrocities, we can’t look away.

As we remember the victims and honor their memory, the message from the international community hast to be clear: These deeds will not go unpunished.

Russian invasion of Ukraine is a flagrant violation of international law. The laws of war clearly prohibit the brutality witnessed in Ukraine. Russia’s troops have targeted civilians. Its missiles have destroyed hospitals, kindergartens and churches. The bodies found in the liberated areas have shown evidence of torture and summary executions. There are credible reports of forced deportation and filtration camps.

Full accountability must be ensured. Finland supports the efforts of Ukraine’s national authorities and the International Criminal Court.

Finland has joined the efforts to hold Russia’s political and military leaders responsible for crime of aggression.

We look forward to the establishment of an international register of damage, as recommended by the UN General Assembly.

Mr. President,

When I visited Bucha in January, I was saddened by the signs of human suffering. But I was also deeply moved by the determination and unity of the people. These people, now bravely defending their country, will one day build a thriving future for Ukraine.

Finland’s support to Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity remains unwavering. We stand with Ukraine.