“Wherever there is a war, the highest price is paid by civilians,” said U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres. “But when we talk about war crimes, we cannot forget that the worst of crimes is war itself,” he added, in his stop in Bucha.

Russia’s offensive in eastern Ukraine gathered momentum Thursday as the United Nations’ chief surveyed the destruction in towns outside Kyiv that experienced some of the worst horrors of the first onslaught of the war, AP reports

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres condemned the atrocities visited on towns like Bucha where evidence of mass killings of civilians was found after Russia’s retreated from the area in the face of stiffer than expected Ukrainian resistance.

Forced to regroup after failing to take the capital, Russia switched its focus to the vital eastern industrial heartland, where fighting is now picking up pace. Ukraine’s military said several areas in the Donbas have come under intense fire in the past day, and satellite images showed new damage from bombardments on the last known pocket of Ukrainian resistance in Mariupol.

Ukrainian authorities warned that civilians who are still in the southeastern port city face dangerously unsanitary conditions, while many of the dead from a two-month siege remain unburied.

“Wherever there is a war, the highest price is paid by civilians,” said Guterres as he visited the bombed out Kyiv suburb of Irpin.

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