Russia has claimed allegations of atrocities committed by its troops in the city of Bucha are a “false attack” to undermine Moscow.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov denied that Russia had massacred civilians in the city and insisted that images showing bodies in the streets were “staged” by Ukraine and the West.
He claimed a “false version of events” was being disseminated and urged Western leaders to examine their own conscience before accusing Vladimir Putin of war crimes.
However, satellite and media photos have emerged showing dozens of bodies scattered in Ukrainian cities, with one journalist reporting seeing at least 20 in Bucha.
“Recently, another mock attack was carried out in Bucha after Russian soldiers left the area according to the plans and agreements made,” Lavrov claimed.
“A few days later, a fake attack was staged there, fueled by Ukrainian officials and their Western patrons on all channels and social media.”
Bucha’s deputy mayor said about 50 of the residents who were found dead after Russia pulled out of the city on March 30 were victims of extrajudicial killings.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is among officials who have accused Russia of war crimes over its actions in Bucha, adding that it would be considered genocide by the world.
High-resolution satellite imagery — provided by Maxar Technologies and first reported by the New York Times — appears to show bodies lying in the open street for nearly two weeks before Russian troops withdrew.
A picture dated March 19 shows dark shapes scattered along the road, in the exact spots where bodies were later recovered by Ukrainian forces.
The photo has also been linked to other media through posts taken by witnesses and reporters at the scene.
It prompted world leaders to reiterate previous allegations by Russia of war crimes, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who said Britain was determined to hold those responsible accountable.
“No denial or disinformation by the Kremlin can hide what we all know to be the truth – Putin is desperate, his invasion is failing and Ukraine’s resolve has never been stronger,” it said in a statement.
Mr Lavrov said Russia will hold a conference to address the allegations and clarify its role in Bucha.
The foreign minister was not the only official to accuse Ukraine of staging scenes in Bucha, with another Russian Defense Ministry official echoing this view.
“Soldiers from the 72nd Ukrainian Main Center for Psychological Operations conducted further filming of civilians allegedly killed by the violent actions of Russian forces,” said spokesman Igor Konashenkov.
“The footage is intended for distribution via western media. Ukrainian special services organize similar events in Sumy, Konotop and other cities.”
Media across Russia have further suggested that Britain was specifically responsible for the images being from Bucha.
A new state television report repeated claims that the massacre was staged and “carried out by professionals, probably British”.
“They know how to place the bodies correctly, they do everything right and they paint a beautiful picture for the necrophilic consciousness of the West,” political scientist Professor Gevorg Mirzayan said on a Channel 1 talk show.
Host Vladimir Solovyov of the state-controlled Russia 1 reported it was a “provocation planned by the British”, while another of the channel’s hosts, Olga Skabeyeva, said an “obviously brutal provocation” was staged by “Ukrainian Nazis in Bucha”. been.
She added: “If you believe the Ukrainian propaganda, the city streets were littered with corpses at the time… they are lying.
“Everything said and shown [about Bucha] is fake.’
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/04/05/russia-claims-slaughter-in-bucha-was-staged-and-a-fake-attack-16409009/ Russia claims the Bucha slaughter was "staged" and a "fake attack".