Newspaper publishes new evidence of war crime in Ukraine

Vídeo de câmera de segurança mostra vítimas pouco antes da provável execução.

Security camera video shows victims shortly before probable execution.

| Photo: The New York Times

The New York Times exclusively published evidence that Russian paratroopers intentionally surrounded and executed Ukrainians in a suspected war crime, in Bucha, a suburb of Kiev, Ukraine. Three videos show nine men just before they were executed.

At the beginning of the Security camera footage, recorded on March 4, shows victims bent over, holding each other’s belts or with their hands over their heads. Another video made by a witness and given to the American newspaper has the following narration: “The hostages are lying there, against the fence”, says the person filming.

Eight witnesses also reportedly told the New York Times what happened next. According to them, soldiers led men behind a nearby office building that the Russians had taken over and turned into a makeshift base. There were shots and the captives did not return. A drone video taken the next day on March 5, also obtained by the NYT, is the first visual evidence that confirms eyewitness accounts. It showed the bodies lying on the ground on Yablunska Street, 144 .

Russian leaders have repeatedly denied wrongdoing in Bucha and described the footage as a “false provocation”. Russia’s defense and foreign ministries did not respond to requests for comment on the Times’ findings.

Vídeo feito por testemunha mostra vítimas ajoelhadas diante de militares rusos. <br />Fonte: The New York Times” data-srcset=”” src=”” title=”Video taken by a witness shows victims kneeling in front of Russian soldiers. <br />Source: The New York Times”>  </img><figcaption><span>Video taken by a witness shows victims kneeling in front of Russian soldiers.  <br /></h2>
<p> Source: The New York Times</span></figcaption></picture>
<h2 tabindex=Victims were civilians

According to the newspaper’s investigations in Bucha, the victims were husbands and fathers, grocery and factory workers, ordinary civilians before the war. With restrictions on men leaving the country, most of them joined various defense forces just days before they were killed. Almost all of them lived within walking distance of the courtyard where their bodies would later be.

According to family and friends, the nine executed men were hiding from the Russians when they learned that paratroopers from the neighboring country were back in Bucha. When they realized that they could no longer escape, they sent messages to the people close to them. “We are surrounded,” one wrote to a friend. “For now we are hiding. They are shooting from armored and large-caliber vehicles.”

Dvornikov, a delivery driver, called his wife, Yulia Truba, shortly before the execution, the widow told the Times. “We can’t go out. I’ll call when I can,” he said, before asking her to delete all messages and prepare to evacuate. “I love you,” he said.

New evidence

One month after Russian forces withdrew from Bucha, Times reporters visited the execution site. The wall and steps of the building were pockmarked with bullet holes. On the other side of the courtyard, scattered a few meters from where the bodies were, were cartridges used in PK-series machine guns and Dragunov sniper rifles, commonly used by Russian troops.

Other evidence left by the Russians points to two specific paratrooper units that may have occupied the building. The crates of weapons and ammunition were listed in units that suffered heavy losses during the first Russian attempt to enter Bucha in February.

Nota encontrada em Bucha. Fonte: Polícia de Kiev
Note found in Bucha. Source: Kiev Police

In addition, a photographed note was found next to a body, at the time unidentified, which circulated on the internet and provided details about one of the victims. The man was later identified as Valera Kotenko. The message reads: “City of Bucha, 144, Yablunska street. He is wearing a black T-shirt and blue jogger pants with three white stripes”.

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