Russian death squads ‘ordered everyone to be killed’ in Bucha rampage

In grainy CCTV footage from the Kiev suburb of Bucha, nine men rush head down a muddy road at gunpoint, each clutching the waist of the man in front. Only one will survive the coming massacre.

Hilling footage and intercepted phone calls released yesterday have revealed Russian soldiers rounding up civilians in Bucha, with one soldier reportedly telling his mother they had orders to kill “everyone”.

The Associated Press and PBS investigation added to the mountain of evidence that the mass killings in Bucha were intended to neutralize the resistance and terrorize locals into submission.

The Bucha massacre came to light in April when Russian troops withdrew from the once-quiet suburb, leaving the streets littered with the bodies of dead civilians.

Since then, more than 450 bodies have been recovered, nearly 40 of which were discovered on a single street where Russian troops were holding and torturing local residents in an industrial building that served as their headquarters.

Russia has denied any role in the Bucha deaths, and several Kremlin officials have accused Ukraine of orchestrating the killings.

But the burden of proof proving that Russian troops carried out the massacre has continued to mount.

Footage from several surveillance cameras in Bucha provided by the Ukrainian government showed the scenes of terror that preceded the massacre.

In one of them, a Russian soldier escorts three people with bags, a suitcase and a dog into what would later turn out to be a Russian torture chamber. Footage of the nine men being led across the street was filmed at the same location.

All but one were killed by Russian troops after they discovered they had manned a nearby checkpoint in a desperate voluntary attempt to protect their country, Ukrainian officials said.

The survivor, Ivan Skyba, a taxi driver, told the Associated Press the Russians accused him and other volunteers of being Nazi sympathizers and directing Ukrainian artillery fire.

One of the nine men was shot dead in front of Mr Skyba, who was beaten until he lost consciousness.

When he came to, Mr. Skyba saw the Russian soldiers leading his friends into the courtyard and executing them.

Soon it was his turn.

Mr Skyba, who eventually escaped and fled to Poland, said: “I felt the bullet pierce my side. I fell and froze and pretended to be dead.”

Intercepted phone calls shared by the Ukrainian government with reporters included several soldiers who have confessed to their families in Russia about killing civilians in cold blood in Bucha.

A Russian soldier named Ivan called his mother in mid-March, when Russian troops were still stationed there, and said he had orders to “shoot anyone who knows who it might be: a child, a woman, an old lady.” , an old man”.

“Anyone with guns will be killed. Absolutely everyone,” he said.

He went on to tell his mother that this unit was conducting a “clean-up operation,” confiscating weapons, searching people, and examining their phones.

Another soldier, identified only as Maksim, called his wife from outside Kyiv a few days later and said he and all his buddies were binge drinking to make the job more bearable.

“Everyone here is like that. It’s easier to shoot at civilians that way,” a clearly drunk Maksim is heard saying.

The investigation included eyewitness testimony that said the violence was not accidental.

“The Russians hunted down lists prepared by their intelligence agencies and went door-to-door to identify potential threats,” said a Bucha
resident. “Those who failed this filtering, including volunteer combatants and civilians suspected of supporting Ukrainian troops, were tortured and executed.”

Ukrainian officials say the pattern of killings suggests the Russian soldiers murdered civilians in cold blood on orders from their commanders.

Tamas Semkiv, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor for the Bucha massacre, told AP and PBS, “The results of the criminal evidence collected so far show that these were not just isolated incidents of military personnel making a mistake, but one.” systematic policy aimed at the Ukrainian people.”

Ukrainian prosecutors blamed the Russian 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division for the atrocities and are prosecuting the commander, Major General Sergei Chubarykin, and his chief, Lt. Col. Alexander Chaiko on war crimes charges.

Bucha became the epitome of Russian atrocities in Ukraine after investigators, the military and journalists first visited the city in early April, only to see contorted bodies – some with their hands tied behind their backs – lying by the side of the road.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who visited Bucha after it was retaken by Ukrainian forces, said the atrocities were evidence of Russia’s plans to genocide Ukraine. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 2022)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022] Russian death squads ‘ordered everyone to be killed’ in Bucha rampage

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