Russia’s Defense Ministry has denied responsibility for the atrocities in Ukraine after leaking photographs of dead civilians lying on the streets of Bucha over the weekend – some with their hands tied, some with gunshot wounds to the head. In addition, in a weekly report on the Telegram channel, they pointed out that the bodies “were only recently placed on the street after all the Russian units withdrew from Bucha” around March 30.
But analysis of satellite imagery by the New York Times refutes such Russian allegations – they say it is not true that the killings of civilians in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, took place after Russian troops left the city.
Satellite images show bodies lay in Bucha for weeks, despite Russian claims— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 4, 2022
Russia has insisted the photos were “another scam” and even called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss “provocations by Ukrainian radicals” in Bucha. But a review of videos and satellite imagery by the NY Times shows that many civilians were killed more than three weeks ago, at a time when the Russian military was still in control of the city.
A video, shot by a local council member on April 2, shows several bodies scattered along Jablonska Street in Bucha. Satellite imagery provided by Maxar Technologies to the Times shows that at least 11 bodies have been on the streets since March 11, when Russia, according to its own claims, occupied the city.
⚡️Satellite images show bodies lay in #Bucha for weeks, despite Russian claims— Ukraine Alert🇺🇦 (@alert_ukraine) April 4, 2022
Satellite imagery provided to @nytimes by @Maxar shows that at least 11 of killed civilians have been on the street since March 11.#BuchaMassacre pic.twitter.com/kCFHsraGWK
To confirm when the bodies appeared and when the victims were most likely killed, the Times visual investigation team analyzed before and after satellite imagery. The photos show dark objects similar in size to the human body appearing on Jablonska Street between March 9th and 11th. The mentioned objects can be seen in the same place even after the Ukrainian forces re-entered Bucha (then the bodies were found), as the video from April 2 shows. Further analysis confirms that the bodies remained in this position for more than three weeks.
The cause of death is unclear. Some bodies lay next to something that looked like a crater from an impact or explosion. The others were near abandoned cars. Three bodies lay beside the bicycle. For some, their hands were tied to their backs with white cloth. The victims were scattered on Jablonska Street.
Another video taken on the same street shows three more bodies. One is next to a bicycle, the other next to an abandoned car. Satellite imagery shows that abandoned cars and bodies also appeared between March 20 and 21.
These are just some of the civilian casualties discovered since last Saturday. The Associated Press published photos of at least six dead men lying together in the back of a business building, some with their hands tied behind their backs. The building is located about 1.6 km west of the other victims found along Jablonska Street.
Another mile away, a NY Times photographer discovered the body of a man with a gunshot wound to the head, lying next to a bicycle.
Dozens of bodies in civilian clothes were found last weekend in Bucha, northwest of the Ukrainian capital, on the streets and in mass graves, following the withdrawal of Russian troops. Hundreds more were found dead in mass graves in the Kyiv area.