Ukrainian officials say withdrawing Russian forces executing civilians, mass graves found

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As invading Russian forces have withdrawn under the heavy pressure of Ukrainian counterattacks in the Kyiv region, the liberating troops have come across shocking scenes of alleged Russian war crimes committed against the civilians of the occupied towns in the area, according to Ukrainian officials.

Footage has been emerging from Bucha, one of the previously occupied towns roughly 25 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, much of it showing bodies laying around the streets, hands tied behind their backs, mostly appearing to have been shot in the head, execution style. Other footage shows civilians that had apparently been strangled and dumped into holes in the ground.

Other widespread reports are emerging of mass graves, some containing 280 or more bodies, being found in the area, The Hill reported, citing Bucha’s mayor, Anatoly Fedoruk.

Mykhailo Podoliak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who shared photos of some of the bodies on Twitter, angrily denounced the Russian invaders:

Ukraine’s defense ministry posted a video on Twitter of a drive through Bucha, where bodies can be seen littering the streets, hands tied behind their backs, and denounced the occupation, declaring that the the slaughter of so many civilians was the “new Srebrenica,” a reference to the infamous massacre at the refugee camp at Srebrenica in Bosnia in 1995 by Serbs.

The defense ministry also showed various images of the bodies taken by AP photographers and angrily denounced the occupiers as “murderers, looters, butchers,” and quoted Zelenskyy:

One mass grave was located by a photography team from CNN, also at Bucha:

Other accounts, such as one by an older woman, report that the Russian occupiers took over one of the local dachas (luxury mansions) and used it to interrogate and torture local civilians in the basement:

The nature of modern internet and technology has allowed warfare to be experienced in a new way, as local, amateur footage can easily be taken and uploaded, leading to a new type of war journalism, the “open source intelligence” (OSINT) accounts on social media, where the more reputable accounts then try to cross reference footage to determine veracity.

Caution: Extremely Graphic Content

Other reports out of besieged Mariupol, at the southeastern edge of the country, have shown similar brutality, with a maternity hospital being bombed, as well as a theater where civilians were taking refuge.

As the war of conquest against Ukraine by Russia continues, there is a tragic likelihood that more reports will emerge of shocking war crimes, with more candid footage taken on the ground, showing the plight of the civilians caught by brutal occupation in a way the world hasn’t seen before.


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