Russia hints there may be more Bucha-like massacres in other Ukrainian cities | International

Bucha’s horrific images could soon be repeated in other Ukrainian cities taken over by the Russian army. According to Moscow, which has successively accused kyiv both of having killed the victims and of having staged the videos with actors in this town about 25 kilometers from kyiv, similar scenes could soon appear in other regions where its troops are withdrawing.

“According to our information, on the night of April 4, in the village of Moshchun, 23 kilometers northwest of kyiv, the staff of the 72nd Psychological Operations Center of Ukraine carried out another staging with civilians allegedly violently killed by the armed forces. Russian for later distribution through Western media. The Ukrainian special services are preparing similar actions in Sumi, Konotop and other cities,” Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said, commenting on the daily war report.

Moscow offered several different versions last Sunday, April 3, about what happened in Bucha. On the one hand, it said that some bodies were actually actors pretending to be dead because one of them supposedly moved a hand in a video, although in the recordings it could be verified that it was a simple optical effect of the rear-view mirror of the car in motion from which the They filmed the images. Russian authorities also pointed out that the civilians may have been killed by their own country.

“The outskirts [de Bucha] they were bombarded 24 hours a day by Ukrainian troops with large-caliber artillery, tanks and multiple rocket launch systems,” the Moscow statement said. However, none of the survivors told that, neither to the first journalists to arrive, from Reuters and AFP, nor to the reporters who entered the place later, including the one from EL PAÍS.

The investigation continues, but the Russian version of the bombing does not square with what was seen in Bucha. This is the case of the death of Oleg, one of the villagers who was found dead with his hands tied. A neighbor told the special envoy of this newspaper that he heard him shout “I am a civilian, I am a civilian, do not shoot!” before a burst of several shots rang out.

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On the other hand, the Russian Ministry of Defense denounced that the mayor of Bucha, Anatoli Fedoruk, announced the liberation of the Ukrainian city on March 31 without mentioning the presence of dead civilian bodies in the streets. However, the newspaper archive attests that the mayor had indeed indicated that a massacre had taken place days before the departure of the Russians was known.

“It is a planned terror against the civilian population. Here, in Bucha, we see all the horrors that we heard about the crimes committed by the Nazis during World War II”, said the mayor in an interview published by Pledge Times the 28th of March. And a week earlier, on March 22, the Ukraine Crisis Center reported the execution of a father in front of his family. In addition, other survivors told the Ukrainian media Babel other horrors they had witnessed on March 26. The newspaper New York Times has compiled several satellite images showing the bodies abandoned in the street for days, before the Ukrainian troops recaptured the city from Russian hands.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office says that four hundred civilians have been found dead in the towns north of kyiv, and the governor of the Sumi region announced yesterday that Russian troops are withdrawing from the area.

According to the latest data from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 1,430 civilians have been killed and 2,097 injured as of April 4, including 161 children killed. The United Nations warns that the figures “are considerably higher” because the hostilities in some areas prevent the collection of more reliable information.

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