In the News April 7
Accusations of Russian War Crimes in Bucha
Russia Holds Press Briefing to Denounce Provocation Staged at Bucha
On Sunday April 3 Russia formally requested the holding of an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to discuss what it called the “heinous provocation of Ukrainian radicals” in the town of Bucha, saying such provocations posed a direct threat to international peace and security.
The UK, which holds the presidency of the Security Council for the month of April, refused to grant Russia’s request on Sunday, and again on Monday when it pressed the matter again, telling Russia it could add its concerns to the agenda of an already scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 5.
In light of that rebuff, The Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia called an emergency press conference on Monday afternoon at the UN Headquarters. There he denounced what he called the UK’s shameful and unprecedented abuse of the President’s prerogatives. Even if the president disagrees with a member’s request for a meeting they are obliged to call a meeting and put the question to a procedural vote, he said, noting that the meeting Russia called for should have taken place within three hours of being requested.
“You can see clearly now what a ‘rules-based order’ promoted by the UK and other Western countries means in real life,” Nebenzia said. “It means them imposing rules that are comfortable to them with total disregard for the international law and UNSC rules of procedure.”
Ambassador Nebenzia then presented what he said were the real facts about Bucha.
He began saying that on March 30, following a round of talks in Ankara, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the withdrawal of forces from a number of regions, including Bucha. That fact was confirmed the next day by the mayor of the town. In his video of March 31 Anatoly Fedoruk presented the withdrawal of Russian forces as a victory of the Ukrainian Army. Interestingly, Nebenzia said, he did not mention any mass atrocities, dead bodies, killings, graves or anything like that. It is hard to imagine that a mayor can “forget” to address such a devastating scenario, he said.
Nebenzia then showed a video posted by the Ukrainian National Guard on April 2 showing the Ukrainian military entering Bucha three days after the Russian troops had cleared out. There were no dead bodies in the streets. It also featured interviews with citizens, none of whom spoke of any “massacre” or mass killings. The video that showed dead bodies lying in the streets appeared only on April 3. According to its authors, he said, the bodies were lying on the streets for at least four days by the time the video was filmed. However, they showed none of the telltale signs of a body left outside to decompose for that amount of time. The blood on and around the bodies is fresh, not coagulated and dry. There is no obvious bloating or signs of rigor mortis. In other words, the deaths were recent.
Nebenzia also pointed out that several of the corpses could be seen with white armbands on their sleeves. Others had their hands tied behind their backs with a white cloth that would have been an armband. Nebenzia explained that the Ukrainian forces use either blue or yellow arm bands. Because members of Ukrainian militia do not always wear military uniforms, he said, local civilians in Bucha wore white armbands when the Russian forces were in the town so they would not be mistaken for members of the militia. However Ukrainian forces, especially the virulently anti-Russian members of the Azov regiment and other neo-Nazis would shoot those people as supposed Russian collaborators, he said. As proof, he referred to a video on social media that shows a conversation between members of what he called “a radical nationalist fighting group.” One of them asks his commander if he is permitted to shoot at the people who are not wearing blue armbands, and is told in reply “Of course!”
Nebenzia concluded saying that the video circulated by the Kiev regime is a crude forgery that does not stand up to any scrutiny, and that what took place in Bucha was a false flag attack by Kiev and its Western sponsors.
Asked by a reporter if he considered other videos with footage of people saying their loved ones — Ukrainian civilians — have been killed by Russian troops also to be fake, Nebenzia said that in warfare, anything can happen, including that civilians may die, calling it a sad fact of life. But he insisted that Russian military forces act in strict compliance with international humanitarian law and do not target civilians and civilian objects.
“From the very beginning,” Nebenzia said, “it has been clear that this is nothing else but yet another staged provocation aimed at discrediting and dehumanizing of the Russian military and leveling political pressure on Russia. Not many of you know about the Russian military, but I assure you that Russian military is nothing that it is being accused of, in particular what regards ‘cruel atrocities’ against civil population. It is not the case. It never was, and will never be.
“We have factual evidence that proves this point. We intended to present it to the Security Council as soon as possible so that the international community is not misled by the false narrative promoted by Kiev and its Western sponsors.”
On April 5 the Russian Mission to the UN in New York posted a quote taken from remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov regarding how he saw the situation: “During the military operation in Ukraine there have been many cases of fake information being injected. It is followed instantly by a propaganda campaign and angry condemnation. When the truth surfaces a few days later, nobody in the West wants to speak about it any longer.”
For the entire briefing click here.
TML Daily, posted April 7, 2022.