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EXTREME GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING
As invading Russian forces have withdrawn under the heavy pressure of Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kyiv region, the liberating troops have come across shocking scenes of alleged Russian war crimes committed against the civilians of the occupied towns in the area, according to Ukrainian officials.
Footage has been emerging from Bucha, one of the previously occupied towns roughly 25 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, much of it showing bodies laying around the streets, hands tied behind their backs, mostly appearing to have been shot in the head, execution style. Other footage shows civilians that had apparently been strangled and dumped into holes in the ground.
Other widespread reports are emerging of mass graves, some containing 280 or more bodies, being found in the area, The Hill reported, citing Bucha’s mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk.
Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who shared photos of some of the bodies on Twitter, angrily denounced the Russian invaders:
Bucha, Kyiv region. The bodies of people with tied hands, who were shot dead by 🇷🇺 soldiers lie in the streets. These people were not in the military. They had no weapons. They posed no threat. How many more such cases are happening right now in the occupied territories? (1/2) pic.twitter.com/AJloZ81JIt
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) April 2, 2022
Kyiv region. 21st century Hell. Bodies of men and women, who were killed with their hands tied. The worst crimes of Nazism have returned to 🇪🇺. This was purposely done by 🇷🇺. Impose an embargo on energy resources, close seaports. Stop the murders! pic.twitter.com/5QIgUB8qfr
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) April 3, 2022
🇷🇺 came in 🇺🇦 with military bands and columns of the Rosguard. But they were followed by mobile crematories. Why do you need them if you don’t believe in resistance? Now we know – to hide war crimes. This is not a performer’s mistake. This is a planned genocide. #BuchaMassacre pic.twitter.com/koRdQbtbX8
— Михайло Подоляк (@Podolyak_M) April 3, 2022
Ukraine’s defense ministry posted a video on Twitter of a drive through Bucha, where bodies can be seen littering the streets, hands tied behind their backs, and denounced the occupation, declaring that the the slaughter of so many civilians was the “new Srebrenica,” a reference to the infamous massacre at the refugee camp at Srebrenica in Bosnia in 1995 by Serbs.
New Srebrenica. The Ukrainian city of Bucha was in the hands of 🇷🇺 animals for several weeks. *Local civillians were being executed arbitrarily*, some with hands tied behind their backs, their bodies scattered in the streets of the city.#RussianWarCrimes pic.twitter.com/outzejdidO
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 2, 2022
The defense ministry also showed various images of the bodies taken by AP photographers and angrily denounced the occupiers as “murderers, looters, butchers,” and quoted Zelenskyy:
💬@ZelenskyyUa: Bucharest, NATO Summit Declaration. April 3, 14 years ago. There was a chance to prevent, so that 🇷🇺 didn’t come. Bucha, Kyiv region. Now. 🇷🇺 has come.
Mothers of 🇷🇺 soldiers should see that. See what bastards you’ve raised. Murderers, looters, butchers. pic.twitter.com/0ngZnNNZTT
— Defence of Ukraine (@DefenceU) April 3, 2022
One mass grave was located by a photography team from CNN, also at Bucha:
Mass grave discovered in Bucha, outside Kyiv, a CNN team has found.
Bodies were first buried in the grave on the grounds of a church in first days of the war, residents told CNN. CNN saw at least a dozen bodies in body bags piled inside. Credit to @fpleitgenCNN & team pic.twitter.com/kkvysGWlND
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) April 3, 2022
Other accounts, such as one by an older woman, report that the Russian occupiers took over one of the local dachas (luxury mansions) and used it to interrogate and torture local civilians in the basement:
Bucha, reportedly a Russian headquarters where civilians were interrogated and then shot pic.twitter.com/vfSnqX9EoX
— OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) April 3, 2022
“The worst was in the basement of the dacha.
‘We found 18 bodies in there,’ he said. ‘They had been torturing people. Some of them had their ears cut off. Others had teeth pulled out. There were kids like 14, 16 years old, some adults.’” https://t.co/dxfINEmLXz
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 3, 2022
The nature of modern internet and technology has allowed warfare to be experienced in a new way, as local, amateur footage can easily be taken and uploaded, leading to a new type of war journalism, the “open source intelligence” (OSINT) accounts on social media, where the more reputable accounts then try to cross reference footage to determine veracity.
Caution: Extremely Graphic Content
Other reports out of besieged Mariupol, at the southeastern edge of the country, have shown similar brutality, with a maternity hospital being bombed, as well as a theater where civilians were taking refuge.
As the war of conquest against Ukraine by Russia continues, there is a tragic likelihood that more reports will emerge of shocking war crimes, with more candid footage taken on the ground, showing the plight of the civilians caught by brutal occupation in a way the world hasn’t seen before.
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