More than four out of five of hundred civilians in mass graves in the town appear to have been shot to death, Bucha mayor Anatoly Fedorchuk said in a statement on Friday, April 15.
Ukrainian and international investigators processing human remains in the Kyiv suburb estimate that almost 85 percent of corpses have apparently fatal bullet wounds – a fact supporting allegations Russian Federation (RF) troops occupying Bucha for more than a month committed atrocities and probably war crimes, Fedorchuk said.
“The bodies we are digging up from mass graves or from individual graves in gardens, parks, squares, and courtyards – (most) have a bullet wound. That means that intentional, cold-blooded murders took place in Bucha,” he said.
Ukraine Armed Forces (UAF) units entered Bucha on Apr. 1, discovering dozens of civilian bodies on town streets and later mass graves, one estimated to contain the remains of at least 400 civilians. Some, found with tied hands and gunshot wounds to the head, seemed to have been executed.
Ukraine’s national government and many Ukrainian allies, led by US President Joe Biden, have called RF soldier murders of Bucha civilians evidence of genocide. The town was heavily fought over throughout March and some Bucha residents are known to have died in artillery strikes, or after having been caught in firefights between RF and UAF troops.
The Kremlin has denied its troops did anything wrong and called reports of mass graves and executed civilians in Bucha fake news – a claim absolutely contradicted by eyewitness accounts, KP observation, Ukrainian official statements, international media, and other independent Ukrainian news agencies.
Exhumation of remains and identification victims at the largest mass grave, on the territory of a local church, is likely to be completed on Friday, but officials know of at least one more mass grave whose contents are unknown, the search for more corpses in every building and open space in Bucha is far from complete, and the death toll is almost certain to rise, Federov said.
In the southern Azov port Mariupol, a city occupied by RF troops since the fourth day of the war, the in exile city government accused RF authorities of intentionally removing civilian corpses and destroying them in crematoria, in order to prevent international investigation into war crimes.
“Russian troops have begun the process of exhuming bodies that were previously buried (temporarily) in the courtyards of residential buildings, and the occupiers forbid these persons’ reburial in proper graves,” the statement said in part.
The city council statement claimed RF authorities instead are shipping human remains to an unknown location, and asserted the RF intention was to destroy them in mobile crematoria now operating in Mariupol.
Ukraine’s national intelligence the SBU has estimated that RF forces have brought thirteen mobile crematoria to Mariupol to dispose of bodies of both dead civilians and RF service personnel station killed in fighting. Ukrainian news agencies have widely reported the estimate, but, no outside agency has confirmed the crematoria allegations.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in a recent television speech estimated at least 10,000 civilians have died in Mariupol from combat action, sickness or starvation. A Monday declaration from the Azov National Guard Regiment, the main UAF force defending Mariupol against an RF blockade, claimed its combatants had killed or wounded at least 10,000 RF soldiers since the siege began.
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