IN war, appalling things happen, but Russia has gone beyond the pale.
The scenes of torture and killing of unarmed Ukrainian civilians are utterly horrific, disgraceful and unacceptable.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is very adept at public relations – he visited Bucha, the scene of the atrocities, and was moved to tears in front of the cameras by what he saw – but for the Russians to claim that these are fake scenes, as they deny culpability, is laughable and pathetic. 
These are not fake scenes. They are not staged. It is madness to believe that the Ukrainian army killed its own people just to make Russia look bad.
The denials just show the inhumanity of Putin’s regime.
But for all our words of outrage, it will be very hard to press war crimes charges. Perhaps the local commanders of the Russian army will be identified and tried, but while Putin is in power, protected by the apparatus of his corrupt state and by his dubious international allies – how is India, a country with which we have deep ties, both familial and financial, allowed to bolster him? – it is hard to see how he will ever face justice.

But we must continue to collect the evidence.
And our fears deepen for those in the east of Ukraine because Russia’s retreat from Kyiv is simply to enable it to regroup and then visit even greater horror on the civilians of the Donbas region.
War throws up many appalling scenarios, but what we fear may happen in the Donbas is too awful to contemplate.