AP conducts detailed investigation of Russian war crimes in Bucha

5 November 2022, 02:13 AM
A man mourns his friend killed by Russian troops in Bucha, April 5 (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

A man mourns his friend killed by Russian troops in Bucha, April 5 (Photo:REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra)

Associated Press (AP) journalists have conducted a thorough, large-scale investigation into Russian war crimes, tortures, and mass killings of civilians in the town of Bucha, just outside of Kyiv, AP reported on Nov. 4.

It is noted the Associated Press, PBS series “Frontline,” and SITU Research reviewed hundreds of hours of CCTV footage, intercepts of Russian phone calls and built a 3D model to show what happened in Bucha. They also attempted to identify individuals responsible for the atrocities.

According to the findings, around lunchtime on March 3, three armored Russian vehicles appeared just beyond the quarry at the western edge of Bucha.

Video of day

A few dozen Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers set up three checkpoints to inspect documents and help with civilian evacuations. Later, some Ukrainian defenders went to the neighboring town of Irpin, some stayed in Bucha and were captured by Russian troops.

By March 4, Russians were hunted people in the town, based on the lists prepared by their intelligence services, going door-to-door to identify potential threats.

“What happened in Bucha that day was what Russian soldiers, in intercepted phone conversations, called ‘zachistka’ – ‘cleansing,” the journalists said.

Those who didn’t pass this “filtration,” including volunteer fighters and civilians suspected of assisting Ukrainian troops, were tortured and executed, surveillance video, audio intercepts, and interviews show.

The Russians turned an underground facility at 144 Yablunska Street into their headquarters and nerve center of cruel, coordinated violence that shocked the world. More than 100 people were held there.

Law enforcement officers found more than 450 bodies in Bucha, with nearly 40 bodies along the Yablunska Street alone.

According to AP, Ukrainian prosecutors now say those responsible for the violence at 144 Yablunska were soldiers from Russia’s 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division. They are pursuing the unit’s commander, Maj. Gen. Sergei Chubarykin, and his boss, Col. Gen. Alexander Chaiko – a man known for his brutality as a leader of Russian troops in Syria – for the crime of aggression in waging an illegal war.

Law enforcement officers also identified many Russian military service members who were involved in war crimes in Bucha.

By Nov. 1, as many as 1,367 bodies of civilians were found in Kyiv Oblast after its liberation from Russian troops. Kyiv regional police reported in September that 422 bodies of civilians, killed by Russian soldiers, have been found in Bucha alone.

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