Bucha will go down in the history as the site of war horrors in the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Bucha is a small city in the north of Ukraine, not far from Kviv. Its population was just under 40,000, and it existed mostly because of the Kviv-Kovel railway. On March 12, it was captured by Russian forces.
When Ukrainian fighters took it back on March 31st, the streets were covered in corpses.
Over 300 bodies, mostly men in civilian clothing, were found in the streets, bound and executed. There were piles of burned bodies, some of them trampled by tank treads. In the basement of a summer camp just outside town, soldiers found a scene straight out of a horror movie – eighteen men, women, and children tortured and killed.
As survivors began to emerge, so did more stories. Russian soldiers looting door to door, shooting any civilian who dared leave their home. Power and water being cut off. Children being taken to ride on tanks as human shields. Rapes and executions and torture. People being taken away after Russian soldiers checked everyone’s phones.
Satellite images obtained by the New York Times confirmed that many of the bodies in the streets had lain there since the first days of the Russian occupation of the town, and showed the digging of a 45-foot-long trench outside a Bucha church, presumably intended to be a mass grave.
The satellite images contradict the Russian stance that the corpses were staged in the town after the retreat of the Russian army.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made his first trip outside Kviv since the beginning of the war to see the truth of Bucha for himself. He called what he found there “genocide” and “war crimes.” He and a growing number of other world leaders are demanding that Russia be held accountable for these war crimes. The matter is under investigation in the Hague, but many are wondering what is left to investigate?
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