Satellite images show bodies were lying in Bucha for WEEKS – debunking Russia’s wild claims that 400 corpses were planted AFTER Putin’s troops fled – as Zelensky prepares to address UN Security Council over ‘genocide’
- Satellite images show dark objects lining roads in Buch on March 19 when Russia was in control of the city
- Position of the objects exactly matches locations where rotting civilian corpses were found by Ukraine’s men
- Images debunk cynical Russian claims that Ukraine killed its own people to frame its troops for war crimes
- President Zelensky due to address UN today about Bucha horrors, while calling for tougher Russian sanctions
Satellite images of Ukrainian civilians slaughtered in Bucha show bodies lining the streets more than two weeks ago, debunking Russian claims that the massacre was staged by Kyiv in order to frame its troops for war crimes.
Images taken of Bucha, a commuter city on the outskirts of Kyiv, on March 19 show dark objects strewn along a road – which match the exact positions where the rotting corpses of civilians were found by Ukrainian soldiers who recaptured the area from Russian forces at the weekend.
Russian forces were in control of the city at the time, strongly suggesting that it was Putin’s men – and not Kyiv’s – who carried out the killings. Kyiv now says at least 410 civilians were massacred in and around Bucha by the Russians while others were tortured and raped in what President Volodymyr Zelensky has described as ‘genocide’.
Zelensky, who appeared shattered on a visit to the area yesterday, will today address the UN Security Council where he is expected to push world leaders to impose tougher sanctions on Russia over the atrocities, send more weapons for his armed forces, and for a war crimes probe to punish the Russian commanders responsible.
In a nightly address to the Ukrainian nation on Tuesday, he said that Western sanctions on Russia ‘must finally be powerful’ – adding: ‘Did hundreds of our people have to die in agony for some European leaders to finally understand that the Russian state deserves the most severe pressure?’
He was also critical of the amount of military aid sent to Ukraine so-far, saying more equipment could have helped save civilian lives. ‘I do not blame you – I blame only the Russian military,’ he said. ‘But you could have helped.’
Ukraine’s allies have called the killings in Bucha war crimes, with the EU offering to send investigators to gather evidence. ‘(Russian President Vladimir Putin) is a war criminal,’ US President Biden told reporters at the White House. ‘What’s happening to Bucha is outrageous and everyone’s seen it.’
The White House said it would announce fresh sanctions on Moscow ‘this week’ with France suggesting new measures could target Russian oil and coal exports. But Germany warned it was too soon to cut off Russian gas.
‘We have to cut all economic relationship to Russia, but at the moment, it’s not possible to cut the gas supplies. We need some time,’ German Finance Minister Christian Lindner said.
Elsewhere, the United States and Britain said they would seek Russia’s suspension from the UN Human Rights Council – a move Moscow branded ‘unbelievable’.
Russia has cynically asked for the Security Council to convene to discuss what it describes as Ukrainian attempts to stage a massacre in order to frame its troops, but Britain – which currently chairs the council – has refused.
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
Images taken on February 28 (left) and March 19 (right) shows that bodies lined the streets – before Russia says troops left
Pictured: Bodies of civilians lay in a mass grave in Bucha which was recaptured by the Ukrainian army last week
Images show civilians with bound hands. Pictured: Ira Gavriluk walks next to the corpses of her husband and her brother
Broken: A visibly emotional President Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday stood motionless as he surveyed the scene of utter devastation he encountered in the town of Bucha, with dozens of bodies shot at close range laying on the empty streets
The full nature of the killings in Bucha and other areas from which Russian troops have withdrawn is still being pieced together.
On Monday, the bodies of five men were found in a children’s sanatorium basement in Bucha. The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said they were unarmed civilians, who had been bound, beaten and killed by Russian troops.
And in Motyzhyn, west of Kyiv, Ukrainian police showed AFP journalists the bodies of five civilians with their hands tied, including those of the village’s mayor, her husband and son.
Ukrainian officials say over 400 civilian bodies have been recovered from the Kyiv region, many of whom have been laid to rest in mass graves.
But Zelensky has warned that the deaths in Bucha could be only the tip of the iceberg, saying he had information even more people had been killed in places like nearby Borodianka.
AFP reporters who briefly visited the area saw no bodies in the streets, but locals reported many deaths.
‘I know five civilians were killed,’ said 58-year-old Rafik Azimov. ‘But we don’t know how many more are left in the basements of the ruined buildings after the bombardments.’
‘I buried six people,’ another resident, Volodymyr Nahornyi, said. ‘More people are under the ruins.’
The Russian withdrawal from Kyiv has been seen as a pivot to a renewed offensive in the country’s east and south, where Moscow wants to consolidate territory around occupied Crimea and the separatist statelets of Donetsk and Lugansk.
The Ukrainian government has warned Moscow is preparing a “full-scale” attack in the country’s east and regional officials urged civilians to evacuate Lugansk fearing a major Russian attack.
The Pentagon estimates Russia has withdrawn about two thirds of the troops it had around Kyiv and will redeploy them to the east and south, with the White House warning the war’s “next phase could be measured in months or longer.”
Even where troops have withdrawn, fears remain, with Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko telling residents to wait before returning, citing the danger of continued shelling and the danger of unexploded munitions.
Overnight, air raid sirens rang out across much of the country, from Lviv in the west to southern Mykolaiv, where officials said Monday that Russian strikes killed 10 civilians and wounded 46.
Elsewhere in the south, concerns remain about civilians trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol.
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (pictured) said his country will hold a press conference to prove that claims Vladimir Putin’s troops have been committing war crimes in Ukraine are false however the Kremlin has yet to present their evidence
Pictured: Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya said Russia will present ’empirical evidence’ to the UN Security Council
Authorities say at least 5,000 people have been killed in the city, 90 percent of which has been destroyed, according to mayor Vadim Boichenko.
Around 130,000 residents are still trapped inside, and efforts to evacuate them are now on hold because of “incessant” bombing, he said.
The Red Cross said Monday a team it sent to help get civilians out of Mariupol was being held by police in Russian-controlled territory.
Europe’s worst conflict in decades, sparked by Russia’s invasion on February 24, has killed as many as 20,000 people, according to Ukrainian estimates.
More than 4.2 million Ukrainians have fled the country and about 6.5 million have been internally displaced, UN agencies say.
Britain’s UN ambassador says a previously planned UN Security Council meeting Tuesday is certain to focus ‘front and center’ on the killing of large numbers of civilians in Ukraine.
Some of the dead were found with their hands tied behind their backs after Russian troops left the Ukrainian town of Bucha on the outskirts of the capital Kyiv.
The UK holds the council presidency in April, and Ambassador Barbara Woodward said Britain didn’t grant Russia’s request for a meeting on the situation in Bucha on Monday because ‘we didn’t see a good reason to have two meetings back to back on Ukraine.’
She told reporters that the Security Council will be briefed Tuesday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths and UN political chief Rosemary DiCarlo.
Woodward said that ‘the images that we saw coming out of Bucha over the weekend were harrowing, appalling, probable evidence of war crimes and possibly a genocide.’
Meanwhile, a Russian law enforcement agency has said it has launched its own investigation into allegations that Ukrainian civilians were massacred, focusing on what it calls ‘false information’ about Russian forces.
Pictured: Bags containing bodies of civilians, who according to residents was killed by Russian soldiers in Bucha, Ukraine
Volunteers unload bags containing bodies of civilians, who according to residents were killed by Russian army soldiers
The Investigative Committee claims Ukrainian authorities made the allegations ‘with the aim of discrediting Russian troops’ and that those involved should be investigated over possible breaches of a new Russian law banning what the government deems to be false information about its forces.
Russian law enforcement has launched several investigations since Russian troops entered Ukraine, typically into incidents such as the shelling of areas held by Russia-backed separatists.
Moscow faced global revulsion and accusations of war crimes Monday after the Russian pullout from the outskirts of Kyiv revealed streets strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, some of whom had seemingly been killed at close range.
The grisly images of battered bodies left out in the open or hastily buried led to calls for tougher sanctions against the Kremlin, namely a cutoff of fuel imports from Russia.
Germany and France reacted by expelling dozens of Russian diplomats, suggesting they were spies, and US President Joe Biden said Russian leader Vladimir Putin should be tried for war crimes.
On Monday, Biden called for a trial, adding to the global outcry over civilian killings in the Ukrainian town of Bucha as more graphic images of their deaths emerged.
‘Obviously responsible’: Pentagon spokesman John Kirby (pictured) speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, April 4
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said Russian forces are obviously responsible for the atrocities in Bucha, even as it acknowledged it was not yet sure precisely which units were operating in the area.
‘I think it’s fairly obvious, not just to us but to the world, that Russian forces are responsible for the atrocities in Bucha,’ Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told a news briefing.
‘Now exactly who – what units, whether they’re contractors or Chechens – I don’t think we’re able to say right now. But we’re certainly not refuting that these atrocities occurred and occurred at the hands of Russians.’
The Kremlin categorically denied any accusations relating to the murder of civilians, including in Bucha, where it said the graves and corpses had been staged by Ukraine to tarnish Russia.
Asked at a news conference about Biden’s comments, Lavrov said the West should first consider its own actions in Iraq and Libya.
‘Not all is well with the conscience… of American politicians,’ he said.
Speaking in a broadcast last night, Vladimir Soloviev, a prominent pro-Putin personality who supports the invasion, added: ‘The war against Russia entered a new phase today. Very soon we will be blamed of genocide.’
He alleged the plot was masterminded by Britain as he praised the ‘true patriots’ in Donbas as other sources have accused Kyiv of staging the horrifying scenes in Bucha.
Soloviev also brought up allegations of Russian troops raping young women in front of their families, at one point saying he ‘doesn’t even want to comment’ on the topic.
It comes as the Russian defence ministry rejected the allegations and claimed that ‘not a single civilian suffered from violence when the town was controlled by the Russian Armed Forces’.
Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said: ‘I would like to point out that Russian troops left Bucha on March 30.
‘The Ukrainian authorities remained silent all these days, and now they have suddenly posted sensational footage in order to tarnish Russia’s image and make Russia defend itself.
‘I would like to emphasise with full responsibility that not a single civilian suffered from violence when the town was controlled by the Russian Armed Forces.
Solviev (above), who is a pro-Putin personality, saidd: ‘It’s obvious people will try to blame us as a people behind genocide’
An elderly woman collects firewood to heat her house in the devastated commuter town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv
‘On the contrary, our troops delivered 452 tonnes of humanitarian aid for civilians.
‘Meanwhile, the fact that the Ukrainian Armed Forces shelled the town of Bucha right after Russian troops had left was deliberately ignored in the US.
‘This is what could have caused civilian casualties. That said, the Kyiv regime is clearly trying to blame its atrocities on Russia.’
Konstantin Kosachev, deputy speaker of the Russian upper house of parliament, said: ‘There are no doubts that it is a staging organised by Kyiv authorities.
‘And the fact that the West has picked it up and is hyping it makes it an accomplice of this cynical and immoral crime.’
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed Kyiv colluded with the West in seeking to blame Russia.
‘I think that the very fact that these statements were made minutes after these materials were released leaves no doubts as for who has contracted this story,’ she told state-run Rossiya-1 television channel.
She claimed the West decided immediately Russia was to blame ‘based on the videos, seconds-long videos and several photos. And they are ready to pour accusations.
‘No expert work done, no information from the other side throwing light on what is going on…’
She also alleged the massacres were ‘a provocation staged by the Ukrainian military and radical nationalists’ to disrupt peace talks.
Meanwhile the Telegram channel War on Fakes, which has been accused of spreading misinformation about the invasion, shared posts discrediting the atrocities pictured and filmed in Bucha and said it was part of a ‘planned media campaign’.
One post said: ‘Fake: The Russian military left Bucha, having previously left huge casualties among the civilian population.
‘Truth: Notes about Bucha appeared in several foreign publications at once – it looks like a planned media campaign.
‘Given that the troops left the city on March 30, where were these footage for 4 days? Their absence only confirms the fake.
‘The video with the bodies is puzzling: here, at 12 seconds, the ‘corpse’ on the right moves its hand.
‘At 30 seconds in the rearview mirror, the ‘corpse’ sits down. The bodies in the video seem to have been deliberately laid out in order to create a more dramatic picture.’
A satellite photo show a probable grave site (circled) near the Church of Saint Andrew in Bucha
Larisa Savenko 72, stands outside her damaged home with Andriy Leshbon in Bucha, Ukraine
Soldiers walk amid destroyed Russian tanks in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Sunday
‘This is clearly seen if you play video at a speed of 0.25 of normal.’
This was shared by the Russian Ministry of Defence Telegram channel.
Meanwhile the Kremlin today said that it categorically denied any accusations related to the murder of civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, adding that Ukrainian allegations on the matter should be treated with doubt.
Yesterday Ukrainian authorities said they were investigating possible crimes by Russian forces after finding hundreds of bodies strewn around towns outside Kyiv following Russian withdrawal from the area.
‘This information must be seriously questioned,’ Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call.
‘From what we have seen, our experts have identified signs of video falsification and other fakes.’
Peskov said that the facts and chronology of the events in Bucha did not support Ukraine’s version of events and urged international leaders not to rush to judgment.
‘We categorically deny any accusations,’ said Peskov.
‘The situation is undoubtedly serious and we would ask that many international leaders not rush with their statements, not rush with their baseless accusations, request information from different sources, and at least listen to our explanations.’
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