The grisly aftermath of Russia’s retreat from its attack on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was on full display for the world with images of butchered and executed civilians from the town of Bucha shown Sunday across multiple social media platforms.
A report by Reuters said that its reporter in Bucha witnessed multiple dead unburied civilians on the streets and that “a mass grave at one church ground was still open, with hands and feet poking through the red clay heaped on top.”
A BBC report based on reporting from Bucha noted that “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.”
Despite that, Russia’s Ministry of Defense said images from Bucha that showed dead civilians with their hands tied behind them were “staged” and insisted “not a single” civilian was injured, according to The New York Times
In the woods outside Bucha today we met Maria, 80, who hadn't minded the Russian soldiers so much when they turned up at her house. It was only after they withdrew that she found out they had tied up and executed her neighbours. https://t.co/v0saCk4z6p
— Louise Callaghan (@louiseelisabet) April 2, 2022
The scale of the reported atrocities was unclear Sunday. A report in The Wall Street Journal put the death toll of civilians at about 100.
Bucha Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk told The Washington Post that 270 local residents were buried in two mass graves.
Regardless of the scale, the results were the same, Ukrainian spokesman Mykhailo Podolyak posted on Twitter.
(Due to the grisly nature of the images, the Western Journal will not reproduce them.)
“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 [the EU]. This was purposely done by [Russia]. Impose an embargo on energy resources, close seaports. Stop the murders!” he posted.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the slaughter, regardless of its scale, showed “that Russian hatred towards Ukrainians is beyond anything Europe has seen since WWII.”
“The only way to stop this: help Ukraine kick Russians out as soon as possible,” he tweeted.
Kyiv mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said the killing of civilians could “only be described as genocide,” according to The Washington Post.
Genocide & war crimes committed against innocent civilians by the Russian troops in #Bucha #Ukraine must be met with new sanctions & increased military assistance to Ukraine. #Latvia will continue insisting on full EU energy sanctions against Russia & port closures #BuchaMassacre
— Edgars Rinkēvičs (@edgarsrinkevics) April 3, 2022
Britain castigated Russia for its apparent actions, according to The Washington Post.
“As Russian troops are forced into retreat, we are seeing increasing evidence of appalling acts by the invading forces in towns such as Irpin and Bucha,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said Sunday.
“Their indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians during Russia’s illegal and unjustified invasion of Ukraine must be investigated as war crimes,” Truss said, adding that Britain would “not allow Russia to cover up their involvement in these atrocities through cynical disinformation.”
and let’s respond to the urgent requests by Ukraine to facilitate getting Soviet-era tanks from countries in the region into Ukrainian hands.
— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) April 2, 2022
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the images cannot be only a gone-tomorrow blip on the world’s emotional radar screen.
“You can’t help but see these images as a punch to the gut, and look, we’ve said before Russia’s aggression that we thought it was likely that they would commit atrocities,” he said, according to The Times. “We can’t become numb to this. We can’t normalize this. This is the reality of what’s going on every single day.”