Belarus Claims Alleged Russian War Crimes Were Staged by Britain

Russian president Vladimir Putin (L) and Belarus' president Alexander Lukashenko attend the closing ceremony of the 2019 European Games in Minsk on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Sergei GAPON / AFP) (Photo by SERGEI GAPON/AFP via Getty Images)
SERGEI GAPON/AFP via Getty Images

Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has accused Britain of staging a “psychological operation” in Bucha, Ukraine, where Russia has been accused of committing war crimes after reports and pictures emerged of mass graves of people allegedly killed by Russian forces.

Appearing at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the far Eastern Amur Oblast region of Russia, Lukashenko claimed to have provided his chief ally, Vladimir Putin, with evidence that the events in Bucha were staged by the British.

“Today we’ve discussed this special operation of theirs in detail – a psychological operation staged by Englishmen,” the Belarusian strongman said according to the state news agency Belta.

“Together with our Russian friends we have gotten to the bottom of this nasty and disgusting position of the West from the first hour to the last one,” he added.

Lukashenko did not offer up any evidence of the claim that Bucha was staged by the UK, but said that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) could provide “addresses, passwords, places of secret meetings, plate numbers and brands of the vehicles those people used to come to Bucha and how they did it.”

Vladimir Putin, for his part, also claimed that Bucha was staged, claiming that it was a “false flag”, comparing it to chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

“Today Aleksandr Grigoryevich [Lukashenko] gave me the documents, which were handed over to the Federal Security Service. The documents identify how, who (they have the relevant intercepts), on what vehicle came to this population center and created conditions for organizing this fake,” he added.

Touring the site of the alleged massacre earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky claimed that Russia had committed “war crimes” and that it would make further peace negotiations with Putin more difficult.

Zelensky’s sentiments were echoed by US President Joe Biden, who introduced another round of sanctions on Russia and said that Putin should face a war crimes trial over Bucha.

Russia has meanwhile consistently maintained that the alleged atrocities in Bucha were staged, despite widespread reports in Western media.

On Monday, Russia’s envoy to the United Nations, Dmitry Polyansk claimed that evidence of the atrocities being manufactured is “multiplying” by the day. Russia has argued that its military had withdrawn from the area when the attacks were said to have taken place.

“It is still being promoted as a crime, allegedly carried out by the Russian army, despite the irrefutable proofs of the staged nature of the event, which are only multiplying,” Polyansk told the UN Security Council.

The accusations from Lukashenko against the UK come amid increasingly heated rhetoric between the UK and Russia, with Britain’s Armed Forces Minister James Heappey saying on Tuesday that if it was determined that Russia used chemical weapons in Mariupol, it would be “beyond the pale”.

Hinting at a possible direct NATO intervention, the minister said: “The use of chemical weapons will get a response, and all options are on the table for what that response could be”.

Britain has already been heavily involved in the conflict, sending billions in arms and military vehicles to the Ukrainians.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson — who Russia has criticised as the most anti-Russian global leader — also made a surprise visit to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the weekend as a “show of our unwavering support for the people of Ukraine.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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