Russian foreign minister Lavrov says slaughter in Bucha is a ‘fake attack’

Mr Lavrov claims Russian troops completely withdrew from the town on March 30

Zelensky accuses Russian army of killing and 'torturing' civilians in Bucha
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The Russian Defence Ministry has rejected Ukraine’s accusation of an alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha, saying that Russian armed forces completely left the town as early as March 30.

Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, has called the situation in the Ukrainian town a “fake attack” aimed at undermining Moscow, the TASS news agency reported.

Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday they were investigating possible crimes by Russian forces after finding hundreds of bodies scattered around towns like Bucha outside the capital Kyiv, after the Russian troops withdrew from the area.

An AFP reporter said they had seen at least 20 bodies in Bucha, while the town’s mayor, Anatoliy Fedoruk, said more than 300 residents had been killed.

Mr Lavrov claims the dead bodies were “staged” and that images of them had been spread on social media by Western countries and Ukraine.

During talks in Moscow with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr Lavrov said: “The other day another fake attack was carried out in the city of Bucha in the Kyiv region after the Russian servicemen left the area in accordance with the plans and agreements reached.

“A fake attack was staged there a few days later, and it’s being fomented on all channels and social media by Ukrainian representatives and their Western patrons.”

Mr Lavrov also stressed that on March 31, Mr Fedoruk confirmed in a video message that there were no Russian soldiers in the city, and did not mention locals shot in the streets.

“Two days later we saw the same staging organised in the streets, which they are now trying to use for anti-Russian purposes,” he said.

“A couple of weeks ago there were attempts to present the situation in a maternity hospital in Mariupol as a crime by the Russian military. As it later turned out, the attempts were made with a blatantly provocative purpose, and fake materials were presented, which were exposed,” he concluded.

Russia’s top diplomat also called on Britain, which holds the presidency of the UN Security Council for April, to fulfil its responsibilities in that role after it rejected a Russian request to convene a meeting over Bucha.

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