Russia lies when claiming that Ukraine’s statements about mass killings of civilians in Bucha are “provocation”

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – JANUARY 21, 2021: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova during a press briefing on Russia’s current foreign policy. Russian Foreign Ministry Press Office/TASS

The Russian Ministry of Defense has claimed that all photographs and video materials published by the authorities in Kyiv, testifying to the atrocities committed by the Russian forces in the town of Bucha, are part of yet another “provocation” on the part of Ukraine. In the statement, Russian military officials cynically noted that in the photos, the bodies have not yet become stiff and no cadaveric spots are observed.

Such cynical statements and attempts to absolve themselves of responsibility for the atrocities committed by the Russian forces do not stand up to criticism and have no right to exist. After all, the results of these inhumane actions have horrified the entire international community. And the whole world was able to see these terrible shots proving that the Russians invaders had committed horrendous war crimes.

It should be recalled that on April 2, the entire Kyiv region was liberated from the invaders. In the liberated towns and villages, demining works were launched and journalists and volunteers were gradually being admitted to these areas. Therefore, only on April 2 did both the Ukrainian military and journalists manage to enter the territory of the previously occupied Bucha.

The Ukrainian authorities rightly accuse the Russian army of atrocities. After the liberation of the settlement, which is located 37 km northwest of Kyiv, a frightening picture appeared before the eyes of Ukrainian military and journalists. Mass killings of civilians in the town have been confirmed, in particular, by the available satellite imagery collected and published by Maxar Technologies.

Judging by these images, the first signs of excavation for a mass grave (discovered in the town after it was liberated) appeared on March 10, during the period of Russian occupation. Satellite images by Maxar saw a trench about 14 meters long, dug in the premises of the Church of St. Andrew the First-Called. The latest images, shot on March 31, show the site of the grave with a nearly 45-foot-long trench, in the southwestern part of the area by the church, Maxar said. This mass grave was seen by Ukrainian forces after they entered the city, liberated from the invaders. The grave remains partially open and human limbs are visible through the clay poured on top of the bodies. This is reported by Reuters. In total, they managed to find the bodies of 280 civilians killed in Bucha. Coroners have already done the research proving that these people were slain during the Russian occupation.

Almost all leaders of the international community stated that these horrifying shots from Bucha testify to the direct involvement of the Russian army. In particular, immediately after the photos were published, statements were made by German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, where they condemned Russia’s involvement in these war crimes and that the perpetrators would be inevitably held accountable.

Mass graves, burnt bodies laying on the sidewalks, and raped underage girls are consequences of a month-long Russian occupation of Bucha.

It must be noted that the Russian forces have been committing war crimes ever since they moved into Ukraine on February 24, 2022. As of March 25, probes have been initiated by Ukraine’s law enforcement into some 2,702 crimes of aggression and war crimes, as well as 1,640 crimes against national security

On March 15, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution demanding that Russian President Vladimir Putin be investigated as war criminal. Numerous cases of destruction of housing infrastructure, killings of civilians, and looting by the Russian military on the occupied Ukrainian territory have been recorded.

According to the UN, as of April 2, some 1,417 civilians, including 121 children, were killed by Russian invaders, 2,038 people were injured, including 171 children. But the real figures may be much higher due to the inability to take into account those killed and wounded in the areas where active hostilities are ongoing, as well as in the occupied territories.