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Ukraine war: Bucha CCTV gives new evidence of Russian war crimes

This is the moment Russian troops led a column of surrendered Ukrainian defense volunteers into a courtyard where eight of them were later found executed, in the latest evidence of war crimes by Putin’s troops.

CCTV footage taken in the city of Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, was handed over to the New York Times showing the men in the custody of Russian paratroopers moments before they were shot despite having surrendered.

Nearly a month later, after Putin’s forces fled the area after failing to take the Ukrainian capital, the bodies of the men were photographed piled up in the same courtyard – some with their hands tied behind their backs – in images that shocked and outraged the citizens. world.

Under international law, executing surrendered soldiers is a war crime. The Times identified the Russian units most likely to be responsible for the executions, the 104th and 234th Airborne Assault Regiments, opening up the possibility of prosecuting the soldiers and their commanders for the massacre.

It comes amid calls by President Volodymyr Zelensky and his Western allies for Putin, his generals and the armed forces to face the full force of the law over the invasion. Zelensky and a handful of other world leaders have gone so far as to call Russia’s invasion an attempted “genocide.”

Newly discovered CCTV footage shows two Russian paratroopers escorting a line of nine surrendered Ukrainian Territorial Defense volunteers to an office building in the town of Bucha, where eight of them were later found dead.

Newly discovered CCTV footage shows two Russian paratroopers escorting a line of nine surrendered Ukrainian Territorial Defense volunteers to an office building in the town of Bucha, where eight of them were later found dead.

More than 1,000 bodies have been found in Bucha so far, the mayor said, many of them civilians and children.  Several mass graves have been discovered, including one excavated on the grounds of the largest church in Bucha.

More than 1,000 bodies have been found in Bucha so far, the mayor said, many of them civilians and children. Several mass graves have been discovered, including one excavated on the grounds of the largest church in Bucha.

Bucha and the nearby town of Irpin, located northwest of kyiv, became the scene of some of the worst massacres of the Ukraine war so far when they were captured by Russian forces in March.

Having initially been pushed back from the area after sustaining heavy casualties in late February, Russian troops returned and captured Bucha on 3 March, taking some newly recruited territorial defense soldiers by surprise.

Among those soldiers were six of the men seen in the video, according to the Times, manning a checkpoint in Bucha with only a grenade and a rifle between them.

Desperately outnumbered and outgunned, they reported the Russian advance to their comrades and then hid in a nearby house along with the owner of the house who had been bringing them food and drinks. They were soon joined by two other fighters, who took refuge with them.

The group survived only one night in hiding before being discovered by Russian troops conducting house-to-house searches on March 4.

They took the group out, searched them for tattoos that might indicate they were soldiers, and then marched them down the street to an office building where they had set up a command post. It was during this walk that the new CCTV footage was recorded.

Ivan Skyba, a 43-year-old builder who was among the captives but survived execution after playing dead when a bullet struck him in the side, said the group and a 28-year-old man, Vitaliy Karpenko, were forced to kneel. he was shot dead almost immediately.

He was then taken inside along with another captive, Andriy Verbovyi, where they were both beaten before Mr. Verbovyi was shot dead. They then took Mr. Skyba back to the parking lot where the rest of the men were being held.

Prosecutors in Ukraine are gathering evidence in what is expected to be the prosecution of Putin, his inner circle, generals and armed forces for war crimes, including the massacre of more than 1,000 people in Bucha (pictured graves in the town)

Prosecutors in Ukraine are gathering evidence in what is expected to be the prosecution of Putin, his inner circle, generals and armed forces for war crimes, including the massacre of more than 1,000 people in Bucha (pictured graves in the town)

The graves of civilians killed during the Russian assault on the occupation of Bucha, near kyiv, are buried in a newly excavated cemetery on the outskirts of the city that is now back under Ukrainian control.

The graves of civilians killed during the Russian assault on the occupation of Bucha, near kyiv, are buried in a newly excavated cemetery on the outskirts of the city that is now back under Ukrainian control.

The grave of a man killed during Russia's assault and occupation of Bucha is seen in a new cemetery on the outskirts of the town, dug to bury victims of Putin's war.

The grave of a man killed during Russia’s assault and occupation of Bucha is seen in a new cemetery on the outskirts of the town, dug to bury victims of Putin’s war.

During interrogations, one of the men admitted that the group was part of the territorial defense. They finally let him go and he is now being investigated by Ukrainian forces for “high treason”.

Skyba said they led the rest of the group out of the parking lot and into a courtyard at the side of the building, where another body already lay, before opening fire.

They shot me and I fell. The bullet went into my side,” Skyba said. I fell and played dead. I didn’t move and I didn’t breathe.

The Russian troops fired several volleys of bullets, including at wounded men on the ground who were still moving, but did not realize that Skyba was still alive. He estimates that he stayed there for 15 minutes until he could no longer hear the voice of the soldiers and then he ran.

Four weeks later, Russian forces withdrew from Bucha, leaving behind evidence of their crimes. Among the bodies that littered the streets – many of them abandoned where they fell next to vehicles or bicycles – were the corpses of those executed in the courtyard.

More than 1,000 bodies have been found in Bucha so far, the mayor said, many of them civilians and children. Several mass graves have been discovered, including one excavated on the grounds of the largest church in Bucha.

One of the graves, dug in a nearby forest, contained the body of Olga Sukhenko, the mayor of Motyzhyn, who was found dead along with her son and husband. Ukraine says a local traitor revealed her location to the Russians, before the family was massacred for refusing to cooperate with the occupation.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looked on the verge of tears when he visited the region last month, later accusing Russian troops of carrying out a

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky looked on the verge of tears when he visited the region last month, later accusing Russian troops of carrying out “genocide.”

Destroyed Russian armored vehicles, cars and trucks pile up in a vacant lot on the outskirts of Bucha as Ukraine tries to repair the damage caused by Putin's war.

Destroyed Russian armored vehicles, cars and trucks pile up in a vacant lot on the outskirts of Bucha as Ukraine tries to repair the damage caused by Putin’s war.

Hundreds of armored vehicles and thousands of Russian soldiers were lost in Putin's attempt to take the Ukrainian capital, which ended in defeat in the face of stiff Ukrainian resistance.

Hundreds of armored vehicles and thousands of Russian soldiers were lost in Putin’s attempt to take the Ukrainian capital, which ended in defeat in the face of stiff Ukrainian resistance.

Ukrainian troops who discovered the grave said Ms Sukhenko had been tortured, with her fingers and arms broken.

Prosecutors in The Hague, as well as investigative teams in Ukraine, are now collecting evidence for war crimes trials, and those in kyiv say they have documented more than 12,000 possible crimes involving 600 suspects.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied targeting civilians in the Ukraine invasion, dismissing evidence of atrocities in cities like Bucha as ‘bogus’ and a ‘provocation’.

While the atrocities in Bucha and Irpin have drawn the most attention so far, kyiv says there are likely to be many more crimes yet to be uncovered, the worst of which is likely to be in Mariupol.

Officials in the Azov Sea port city, now under full Russian control, say as many as 20,000 civilians may have been massacred there during a months-long siege by Putin’s men.

Those who managed to escape have told stories of Russians carrying out executions as they went from house to house, shooting at civilian vehicles leaving the city and shelling neighborhoods indiscriminately.

The images show how thousands of those killed were buried in mass graves on the outskirts of the city, while others buried their dead relatives in gardens or small plots.

But the fate of many of those people is likely to be unknown, as Russia is now working to “cleanse” the city after taking full control when the last Ukrainian defenders surrendered earlier this week.

It means that even if Ukrainian forces are able to retake the city, Putin’s forces will have had plenty of time to hide evidence of executions or mass graves.

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