Kremlin denies Ukrainian allegations its forces killed civilians near Kyiv

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A woman walks on a street, amid Russia's invasion on Ukraine, in Bucha, Ukraine April 3, 2022. REUTERS/Mikhail Palinchak/File Photo

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April 4 (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday it categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha and said Ukrainian allegations on the matter should be treated with doubt.

Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday they were investigating possible crimes by Russian forces after finding hundreds of bodies strewn around towns outside the capital Kyiv after the Russian withdrawal from the area.

"This information must be seriously questioned," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

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"From what we have seen, our experts have identified signs of video falsification and other fakes."

Peskov said that the facts and chronology of the events in Bucha did not support Ukraine's version of events and urged international leaders not to rush to judgment.

"We categorically deny any accusations," said Peskov.

"The situation is undoubtedly serious and we would ask that many international leaders not rush with their statements, not rush with their baseless accusations, request information from different sources, and at least listen to our explanations."

Peskov said that Russia's diplomats would press on with their efforts to convene a U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss what Moscow has called "Ukrainian provocations" in Bucha despite their first effort to arrange such a meeting being blocked.

"The initiative itself of raising this topic to the platform of the U.N. Security Council suggests that Russia wants and demands that this topic be raised at the international level," Peskov said.

Peskov declined to comment on whether the furore over Bucha would affect peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv, which had been set to resume via video conference on Monday.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it called a special operation to degrade its southern neighbour's military capabilities and root out people it called dangerous nationalists.

Ukrainian forces have mounted stiff resistance and the West has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.

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