Bellingcat investigators have rebutted all allegations made by Russia about war crimes in Bucha

Kostia Andreikovets

Bellingcat investigative journalists have denied allegations by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Defense Ministry about war crimes in Bucha (Kyiv Oblast) against civilians. They have analyzed statements by Russian officials and the state media about alleged "crimes of the Ukrainian Nazis", "provocations by the Security Service of Ukraine", "actors playing the dead", and "inconsistencies in the dates".

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Russian troops withdrew from Bucha on March 30, and the Ukrainians found evidence of Russian crimes allegedly on the fourth day after the liberation of the city. However, the mayor announced the liberation on March 31 but pointed out that there is a clearing in Bucha. Already on April 1, the secretary of the Bucha City Council Taras Shapravsky reported on the bodies of people on the streets.

Videos and photos from Bucha, which depict the dead in civilian clothes, first appeared on social networks on April 1. This again contradicts Russiaʼs assertion that evidence of atrocities did not appear until April 3. Videos with peopleʼs bodies were published on social networks on April 2. All videos show the same sections of Yabluneva Street from different angles, the records show the same corpses.

However, the Russian Foreign Ministry also used these videos from Bucha to claim that some of the corpses were "moving" and the footage was "fabricated". As evidence, the Russians used a fragment of a cropped video in which one of the corpses "raises his hand". The analysis showed that the camera recorded the movement of a drop of water moving on the windshield. It created the effect of a "moving" hand. It is also worth mentioning that the version of the video posted on social networks by people who claim that you can see the movement of the hand, stops a moment before and after the drop moves the body of the deceased.

Another proof of Russiaʼs lies is the numerous photos in foreign media taken in different periods from 1 to 3 April. People do not change positions in the photos of peopleʼs bodies.