“The Butchery of Bucha”

How Russia’s retreat revealed its atrocities

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As Russia withdrew from the area around Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, evidence of its numerous, brutal war crimes, which have been dubbed as evidence of a genocide against the Ukrainian people, has been revealed in cities like Bucha, Kharkiv, and Mariupol. In the town of Bucha, located within an hour’s drive of the capital, evidence of one of Russia’s numerous war crimes against Ukrainian civilians was uncovered as the bodies of countless civilians murdered in cold blood by the Russian invaders have been discovered.

But how were they killed?

Many of the bodies are those of young men whose bodies were found tied, bound, burned and butchered; they were slaughtered by the dozen to prevent them from joining the fight against the Russian invaders. Many accounts from the survivors detail the graphic nature of the crimes committed against them. Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk stated that the civilian death toll was as high as 320 on Sunday, April 10th with Fedoruk saying “They were dumped like firewood into mass graves.” 

Another account of the tragedy to come from Bucha comes from a 61-year-old man named Babak,. He said it was not easy to leave, and he thought that he would be spared because of his age, but he was still accused of being a saboteur. Because of that, he spent a month in captivity where he was without access to running water electricity and was forced to cook scavenged food over the fire to survive.

Ukranian President Volodymir Zelenskyy, has labeled the events at Bucha as well as Russia’s clear and unapologetic bombing of civilians as evidence of a genocide, but is it? 

While NATO’s response to the mounting war crimes was to increase the number of economic sanctions against Russia, as well as greatly increase the amount of military aid to Ukraine, and while this is a difficult question to answer, the answer is most likely “no” as evidence points to these atrocities being more likely war crimes rather than a full-scale genocide of the Ukrainian people despite what Zelenskyy and other western officials may say. 

But why is all of this happening?  

While it is impossible for us to truly know the reason for these killings and war crimes it is most likely because, they are committed out of anger in response to the killing of Russian soldiers, as well as the Russian military’s lack of NCOs or non-commissioned officers, to direct soldiers and interpret orders, and to make sure they are followed out correctly. Russia’s lack of NCOs has led to a large group of uncoordinated and unsupervised men with no small unit leadership, and no one to take charge and command of a situation. And without the leadership of any NCOs, it is no wonder that Russian soldiers who are struggling to even fight have suffered a complete logistical collapse, and have resorted to looting and shooting, pillaging like a band of ancient thugs as they roll across Ukraine.