Bucha Killings. Evidence of the Real Genocide Committed by the Russian Troops

The town of Bucha was considered a quiet and prosperous place before the war. Often people from Kyiv or other newcomers went there to live because of the active urban development of new and modern housing estates. However, everything changed at the end of February when Russian troops entered.

Within a month after entrance of the regular Russian troops, the settlement had turned into a branch of hell. Not only were houses shelled and the brand-new multistore buildings turned into a riddled canvas. The world was horrified by the war crimes committed by the Russian troops.

The number of casualties among the local population is gradually increasing. So far, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office, 410 people have been killed. Most of them were killed after long periods of torture or in an attempt to eliminate unwanted witnesses.

“The evidence shows that unarmed civilians in Ukraine are being killed in their own homes and on the streets with incredible brutality and ruthlessness. The deliberate killing of civilians is a violation of human rights and a war crime,” Secretary General at Amnesty International Agnès Callamard said.

Yelena worked as a translator, collaborated with publishers, and lived in Bucha. When the Russians came, she hid in the basement, as did many of her neighbours. But from the very first day it was clear that they would have a very complicated future. Yelena says there was no communication, no electricity and no heating. Soon the brutalities of the Russian troops added.

It started with 40 tanks dropping in Steklozavodskaya living district area, the soldiers robbed the Foru shop, took out alcohol and food, were dancing and partying in the club. News of the occupiers’ behaviour subsequently began to spread. It should be understood: Bucha is developed in three parts: Lesnaya, Centralnaya and Steklozavodskaya. Most of those killed were in the first two living areas.

Yelena says they used to go to a well near the old cemetery for water. The fearless men neighbours helped them, bringing water and firewood.

“I told them: “Don’t walk so much and far away, it’s dangerous”, but they just waved them off. They said: “These are very quiet, they told us to wear white arm bands on our sleeves, then they won’t touch us. I am quoting our neighbour, an ethnic Russian, by the way, who helped us a lot. In general, many Russians lived on our stretch of Yablonskaya Street; they settled there in the 1950s, when the glass factory was built. But paradoxically, the greatest number of victims, as it turned out later, was on Yablonska Street,” says a resident of Bucha.

She recalls that in evenings Russian tanks drove out into the street and fired. They were intimidating, as if urging “everyone go to sleep”. In the morning there was also shooting.

The Mayor of Bucha Anatoliy Fedoruk explains that the population of Bucha was 50 thousand before the war. The population of the community, which includes surrounding villages, was another 17,000. When Ukrainian troops entered the town on 1 April, around 3,700 citizens remained.

It was with the arrival of the Ukrainians that multiple casualties among the local population broke out. According to the eyewitnesses, there were many Russian military personnel, so they could be divided into two parts. The first were those who took part in the mass killings. The second part stood on the outskirts, in the same Steklozavodskoy living district, and distinguished themselves only by their contemptuous attitude towards civilians.

Several military units can be singled out in relation to the brutality of the Russian troops. The fact is that soldiers from a dozen different Russian paramilitary formations have come to Bucha, Hostomel and Irpen. For example, Guards Tank Tatsinsky Red Banner Order of the Suvorov Brigade No 5, which stationed at Divizionnaya station (near Ulan-Ude). Or 331 Airborne Regiment and 98 Airborne Troops from the Western Military District. Often Ukrainians were treated with hatred, which resulted in bullying. There are testimonies from former residents of the town that the Russians said to them: “Khokhly”, “This is for the “DPR”, “Ukrofashists”.

However, it is worth dwelling on a few Russian units that are notorious. For example, the 76th Guards Air Assault Chernihiv Red Banner Order of the Suvorov Division from Pskov, stood in Bucha. It was the soldiers of this division – the Pskov paratroopers from the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division participated in the first and second Chechen wars, during which they carried out “mopping up” of the civilian population.

Another military unit involved in brutalities against civilians is the 64th Motorized Brigade of the Khabarovsk Region under the leadership of Kombrig Azatbek Omurbekov. There is not much information about this unit, but on Russian forums there are reports that thefts are rampant in this military unit. Commanders and all superiors were directly involved and demanded different kinds of bribes from soldiers. It came to the point that in some platoons soldiers were not given their salary cards and the money was taken from them by lieutenants or contractors.

There are many reports of soldiers complaining about poor food, poor nutrition, and increased skin diseases in the summer. All of this is taking place against a backdrop of a cult of violence. In the news, a few years ago, a group of young soldiers beat to death a local resident, a reserve officer for reasons of ethnic hatred.

This military outrage is explained by the fact that it takes place with the direct participation and knowledge of Azatbek Omurbekov. The second factor is that the region where the military unit is located is far from the centre, so there is almost no public control.

A resident of Bucha Oleksiy Tarasevich confirms the killings and marauding. He gave a witness account of the events. On 17 March Russian troops entrenched themselves in the courtyard of their dwelling area. There were no curfew restrictions yet. He and his neighbour Tatyana were at the stair landing waiting for her husband Vasily. At seven minutes past five the front door of their apartment block slammed shut. Just a few seconds later there was a knock on the iron door with butts. Then Oleksiy Tarasevich heard the voice of Vasily’s neighbour, a rumbling sound was heard. Instantly the residents fled to their flats. A couple of minutes later Russian soldiers broke in and took Oleksiy Tarasevich outside. That’s when he saw his neighbour Vasiliy lying face down in blood with no signs of life.

When Oleksiy Tarasevich tried to lift the man lying there, he saw his teeth knocked out on the floor, the man’s face was smashed into a laceration. The neighbour was alive. Oleksiy helped him and they sat down on the bench.

“Vasily tried to say something, but it only infuriated the military man. I asked: “If you believe in God, don’t kill him – he’s a good man, my neighbour, I know him. The soldier replied: “I believe in God, we won’t kill him,” and ordered me to call Vasily’s wife. Hoping that it was over and we would be given the man who had been beaten up, I went up to the landing of the second floor. About two hours passed and I could hear people coming up through the door, there were five of them. I could see through the door peephole the light of torches, they entered flat 4, and Vasya was with them. They stayed in the flat for about half an hour. I heard the military man say: “That’s it, let’s go.” Vasya’s voice said: “Take this. too”. They answered to him: “We’ve already taken everything we need”. It seemed to be over. But the soldiers soon came back and left with Vasily and Tatyana, who was taking their dog on a leash,” Oleksiy Tarasevich recalls.

He goes on saying that Tatyana returned from captivity the next day and found Vasily killed. The body of the poor man was savagely mutilated, his face was crashed, bones of his arms were shattered, there were terrible bruises at the waist and his ribs were unnaturally twisted. There were no bullet or stab wounds.

It should be noted here that it was the civilians who were mass killed by the Russians. Only in rare cases have the men had anything to do with active resistance to the occupiers. For example, 30 bodies were found in Yablonsky Lane on 3 April and among them were only two men who had previously been involved with the Ukrainian Armed Forces of Ukraine – they were killed while trying to throw a Molotov cocktail. The men were not serving in the army at the time, but only had military experience.

There are up to a dozen murder sites in Bucha. And we are talking about mass shootings, for example in the basements of a kindergarten. People have been killed on the street because they unwittingly witnessed a robbery or violence. It went so far that locals were killed for no reason at all.

For example, according to The New York Times, which analysed a drone video, a cyclist was riding through Bucha, turning onto a street occupied by Russian soldiers. As soon as the cyclist turned the corner, a Russian armoured vehicle fired its large-calibre guns. A second armoured vehicle also fired two shots at the cyclist. A column of dust and smoke rose at the scene.

A few weeks after the city was liberated by Ukrainian forces, the body of a man in civilian clothes near a bicycle was found exactly where the video was recorded.

Yelena says she was able to get out of Bucha and saw footage of the mutilated men being held in a basement and then shot in the head after April 1.

“In the cellar photo, I saw a corpse with a white bandage on its sleeve. That is, eventually the arm bands meant nothing. Everyone was killed in a row, even those who agreed to wear the identification marks of a peaceful person,” Yelena concludes.

Maksim Butchenko

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Autorius: Voras Online