Violence of Russian soldiers: Uncovering the scope of the Bucha massacre

As Ukraine recaptured the town of Bucha, the world saw the extent of the violence Russian soldiers inflicted on the civilian population.

Since the Russian forces were driven out of Kyiv Oblast, 412 bodies have been found in the town’s streets, buildings and mass graves as of April 19, according to Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk. Over 600 bodies were reported in Bucha District as of April 15, Human Rights Watch reported, citing the chief regional prosecutor.

Over the past three weeks, rescuers, volunteers and journalists have been combing through the evidence and survivors’ testimonies to establish what happened here over the six weeks of occupation.

It all came down to one clear fact: Russians had a citywide shooting spree in Bucha. According to Fedoruk, over 80% of the bodies have bullet wounds, largely in the head and torso.

“If in Irpin (a city next to Bucha) people died from fragments caused by shelling and mortars, in addition to being shot, then in Bucha people were mainly just shot,” Taras Vyazovchenko, a city council member, told the Kyiv Independent. “There are practically no accidental hits among the victims.”

According to interviews with local officials and over two dozen residents, Russian troops killed people both randomly and systematically. They sought some people out, like local officials, activists or sometimes just men of military age. They killed others on the street for various reasons and sometimes no reason at all.

“There are shootings of peaceful citizens that can’t be explained in any way,” Anatoliy Kotesh, a deputy police chief for the Buchanskyi District, told the Kyiv Independent.

While local officials couldn’t give exact figures on how many people were found on the streets and how many were found in homes and basements, they said the amounts are comparable.


Leave a Reply