Ukraine atrocities: Satellite imagery of Bucha mass graves appears to contradict Russian denials

Satellite images show location of mass graves in Bucha near Ukraine’s capital Kyiv

Sravasti Dasgupta
Monday 04 April 2022 07:49
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Bodies seen lying in street as Ukrainian forces recapture areas near Kyiv

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Satellite images have revealed a 45-foot-long trench in Ukraine’s Bucha where mass graves were found of civilians in areas where Russian troops have pulled back.

Ukrainian troops entering the city, which is 15 miles northwest of the capital Kyiv, found at least 20 dead men were lying in the street.

On Sunday, Sergey Nikiforov, spokesperson for president Volodymyr Zelensky, condemned the “pure brutality” of the mass graves.

“We found mass graves filled with civilians. We found people with their hands and with their legs tied up and with bullet holes at the back of their heads.

“They were clearly civilians and they were executed. We found half-burned bodies as if somebody tried to hide the crimes, but actually they didn’t have enough time to do it properly.”

Images from a private US company Maxar show that the first signs of excavation were seen on 10 March on the grounds of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints.

This handout satellite image released by Maxar Technologies on April 3, 2022 shows probable excavation of earth at a grave site (R) near the Church of Saint Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints in Bucha, Ukraine, on March 10, 2022.

On 31 March, satellite images show the grave site with an approximately 45-foot long trench in the southwestern section of the area near the church, the company said in a statement.

A satellite image shows the grave site near the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints, in Bucha

“I have to be very careful with my words, but it looks exactly like war crimes,” Mr Nikiforov said.

However, Russia has rejected the Ukrainian government’s claims are “false accusations.”

In a statement Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said that Ukrainian forces launched artillery fire on Bucha following the withdrawal of Russian forces, according to Russian state-run news agency TASS.

Earlier, Bucha’s mayor said that they had buried 280 people in mass graves – while some of the few civilians who stayed and who survived enjoyed their “first bread in 38 days”.

On Saturday Ukraine’s forces seized back all areas around Kyiv, claiming complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia launched the invasion on 24 February.

Troops have retaken more than 30 towns and villages around Kyiv since Russia pulled back from the area this week, Ukrainian officials said.

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