Thursday, February 22

Russian withdrawal from the outskirts of kyiv exposes a trail of atrocities

The ring of villages and small towns that surround the ukrainian capital have frustrated the plans of Vladimir Putin to take control of Kyiv and install a puppet government in Ukrainethe apparent target he sought when his armored columns descended from Belarus and the southwest of Russia on both shores of dnieper river to try to surround the capital on three of its flanks. the fierce rukrainian resistance in all of them it has stopped the Kremlin’s most grandiose ambitions in this war, but the price is creepy. The withdrawal of Russian troops from the kyiv region has revealed a myriad of atrocitiesfrom dozens of Ukrainian bodies dumped on the street and apparently executedsa common pits and mutilated corpses.

The photographs captured by various international media, starting with those of the Spanish Santi Palacios for ‘5W‘, to which must be added others published by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, seem to be taken from a horror movie. They show a trail of bodies in civilian clothes lying on the sidewalks, crossed in the middle of the street, bloodless in the gutters or collapsed in front of the houses. Some have the hands tied behind the back. Others are naked from the torso up. A man lies next to his bicycle; another still carries a backpack. “From the car you could easily see the dead. One of them was next to a car that had been attacked. There were dead bodies in the center and on both sides of the road. It was difficult to see how they died because we couldn’t get too close, there could be booby traps”, writes Palacios in the magazine ‘5W’.

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Most of the images were taken in Bucha, a small city of 30,000 inhabitants northwest of kyiv and occupied for almost a month by Russian troops. The destruction in some of its neighborhoods is overwhelming, as EL PERIÓDICO found out on Saturday. Various interviewed neighbors denounced having seen executions for no apparent reason in front of its portals or in the middle of the street in charge of the Kremlin military. Many of civilians, but also of veterans of the Donbas war. Those same testimonies assured that some of the corpses had already been buried in gardens and vacant lots. Lands that it was not convenient to walk on, given that the Ukrainian General Staff had warned hours before the presence of mines in the areas liberated by its troops. Since then, in Irpin, near Bucha, his military have found more than 640 explosive devices.

More than 400 dead

So far the Ukrainian authorities have quantified in 410 dead found in the periphery From the capital. Also in common pits sand covered. “They look exactly like war crimes”said the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, after his government claimed that there are no Russian troops left in the entire kyiv region. “We have found mass graves. We have found people with their hands and legs tiedpeople with bullet holes in the back of the head. They were clearly executed civilians”, he said in a video. Zelinski added that partially burned bodies have also been found, “as if someone had tried to hide their crimes, but hadn’t given them time.”

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Russia has been quick to deny the allegations, saying they are nothing more than a “set-up” by the kyiv government “During the period when the town was under the control of the Russian armed forces, not a single local resident has suffered any violent action”, said his Ministry of Defense. But the truth is that at this point the credibility of the Kremlin is null because, during this war, systematically lied.

What is striking, however, is that he has not tried to hide the overwhelming evidence of war crimes, as other countries do when they commit them. It may be a macabre message to instill fear the Ukrainians or their troops may have had to flee in disarray, although it is not so surprising considering the number of Russian soldiers who have been left lying in the gutter Ukrainians without anyone picking them up.

Outrage in Western chancelleries

This apparently indiscriminate killing of civilians has unleashed the outrage in western chancelleriesyes “We cannot normalize this. This is the reality of what happens every day as long as Russian brutality continues to rage in Ukraine,” said US Secretary of State Tony Blinken. “The images of Bucha are intolerable,” said German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock. “All those responsible for these war crimes They need to be brought to justice.” The European Union, “shocked by the images of the atrocities committed”, has announced that it is preparing a new round of sanctions against Russia.

The UN calls for an independent investigation

It is questionable, however, whether the horrendous trail of Russian occupation will change the Western position in this war. Increasingly Ukrainians accuse Brussels and Washington from act cowardly in front of Moscowafter seeing how their requests to impose a no fly zone or send to Ukraine anti missile systems or tanks, which in the eyes of the West would bring closer the possibility of a direct war between NATO and Russia.

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“Having seen the Russian atrocities against civilians, if anyone in the West still doesn’t understand that we have to do everything to make the russians lose and leave Ukraine, then I can only say that I feel sorry for the West,” said Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks.

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