Ukrainian forces have found bodies littering the streets of Bucha, a key town near Kyiv (Kiev), after Russia’s retreat from the region. (Warning: graphic images.)
With Russian forces having pulled back from their northern positions near Kyiv after encountering fierce resistance, counter-attacking Ukrainians and photo-journalists have encountered scenes of devastation, with the bodies of seemingly civilian victims of the invasion littering the streets.
“At least 20 dead men were lying in the street as Ukrainian troops entered the town. Some of them had their hands tied behind their backs,” reported the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which says it was “able to get to Bucha because during Friday the final Russian soldiers pulled out, as part of what the Kremlin has presented as a calm and rational decision to concentrate on the war in eastern Ukraine.”
The publicly-funded broadcaster asserted that, in fact, Russia’s objectives in the Kyiv region had been thwarted by “unexpectedly fierce and well-organised Ukrainian resistance”, citing “the rusting and twisted wreckage of [an armoured] column that still lies where it was destroyed on [a] suburban street” in Bucha as evidence.
Ukraine war: Bucha street littered with burned-out tanks and corpses https://t.co/ljsKfm5Hsm
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) April 3, 2022
The Mayor of Bucha, Anatoly Fedoruk, claims Ukrainian forces have already found 280 people in a mass grave in the liberated town, with Defence Minister Dmytro Kuleba alleging the Russians “were killing civilians while leaving, while withdrawing, while staying there in this town of Bucha and also in other towns and villages in key regions, but also while withdrawing from them out of anger and just because they wanted to kill.”
“There was no good reason for [the killings]. These were not guerrillas, they were not people opposing them,” Kuleba added, saying that evidence would be collected to determine whether or not the Russians’ actions amount to genocide.
“The Russian soldiers are lower than animals. Animals don’t do what they did. We shouldn’t take them hostage. They must die. They must be destroyed,” said one Territorial Defence Force soldier quoted by The Times.
“There’s nothing to be happy about. Only sorrow for the people who were killed,” lamented the soldier, named as Sergeiy Torovik by the British newspaper.
The Ukrainian alleged that he had discovered a basement packed with the bodies of 18 torture victims: “Some of them had their ears cut off. Others had teeth pulled out. There were kids like 14, 16 years old, some adults.”
Torovik also warned that Ukrainain forces were discovering mines “everywhere”, including in homes and booby-trapping the bodies of the fallen.
Comrades said it would take “months” if not “years” to clear the area.
“They’ve hidden them everywhere. And some of them are so old, they’re from the First World War,” one said.
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
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