Radio broadcasts in which Russian troops appear to be talking to each other about the deliberate assassination of civilians in Ukraine have been intercepted by Germany’s foreign intelligence service, according to a source close to the results.
The evidence was presented by officials from the foreign intelligence service, BND, to members of parliament on Wednesday.
Radio communications were first published in the German news magazine Spiegel, which said the communications were linked to atrocities committed in Bucha, north of Kyiv.
Some of them can be linked directly to locations and objects shown in pictures documenting the consequences of the killings, the magazine reported.
A mass grave was found in Bucha over the weekend, along with dozens of civilians lying on the ground, following the withdrawal of the Russian army. The hands of some of the dead were tied, but other bodies showed signs of torture. Many women and children are believed to have been among the victims.
The Russian government has vehemently denied allegations that its troops committed the killings, which world leaders, including Joe Biden and German Olaf Scholz, have described as war crimes. Russia has repeatedly claimed that the killings were staged. However, the increasing number of witnesses’ testimonies has increased the veracity of the reports.
It was reported that Russian soldiers had discussed how they had interrogated Ukrainian soldiers as well as civilians before firing on them.
According to Spiegel, who indirectly referred to people who had attended the meeting where BND officials handed over new evidence to a select group of MPs, “the recordings completely invalidate Russia’s denials”.
In one of the radio conversations, a Russian voice is heard telling someone how he and another soldier shot a man who had been on a bicycle. One of the many images of the atrocities that have swept the world in recent days was of the body of a man next to a bicycle.
In other communications, one was heard saying, “First you ask the soldier, then you shoot him. The feeling was that the soldiers talked about the murders as if they were talking about everyday life, MPs were told, according to Spiegel.
The secret documents are also said to confirm reports that the Russian mercenary Wagner Group was the main participant in the killings. The group was previously active in the war in Syria, where the vicious nature of its activities was notorious.
In a speech on Thursday, Bucha’s mayor, Anatoliy Fedoruk, said that the number of people found in the city was increasing every day, with 320 civilians identified so far. Specialized police officers had retrieved bodies from private estates, parks and squares, he said, as well as from makeshift graves. “Nearly 90% were killed by bullets, not bombs,” he added.
BND footage has raised suspicions that the killings were not intentional or committed by soldiers who could have worked independently, as previously reported.
According to Spiegel, other radio recordings are being analyzed. However, their exact location seems to be more difficult. They reportedly point to similar activities in other parts of Ukraine, in and around the port city of Mariupol, which has been largely destroyed in Russian bombings.
The anonymous source said that the expertise of forensic experts in Europe was being sought as a matter of urgency, as independent experts needed to be prepared to gather as much evidence as soon as possible as soon as a suspicion of atrocity was identified. , where the source said that they were expected to be much more.
The massacre in Mali last week, in which 300 people died and where Russian fighters are said to have taken part in the bar, “all the characteristics of the Russian military’s operations”, the source said, adding that it was similar to attacks by the military. involved in Syria. This had raised hopes that the ability of experts to gather accurate evidence would be increasingly needed, the source added.
In Ukraine on Thursday, as humanitarian aid workers and volunteers marched on a recaptured area of Kyiv by Russian troops, evidence of further atrocities perpetrated by the occupation forces against Ukrainian civilians continued to emerge.
When roads were cleared of mines and ruins of burned tanks and civilian cars, residents returned home to find their homes looted or destroyed, neighbors missing, bodies broken down in basements and quickly digging graves in gardens. Violence and deaths in towns and villages around Kyiv stand out, even by the abysmal standards of other conflict zones.
Amnesty International also published a report on Thursday showing war crimes in the Kyiv region, based on interviews with 20 people who witnessed or had direct knowledge of horrific violence.
A woman in a village east of the capital told Amnesty investigators that on March 9, two Russian soldiers entered her home, killed her husband and repeatedly raped her with a gun while her young son was hiding nearby. She later managed to escape to Ukrainian territory.
In the village of Vorzel, Nataliya and Valeryi Tkachova left their basement on March 3 to check for Russian tanks and told their 18-year-old daughter Kateryna to be hidden. After hearing gunshots, Kateryna went out of the basement to find her parents lying dead in the street, her father shot six times in the back and her mother once in the chest. She was assisted in leaving Vorzel on March 10.
“Evidence shows that unarmed civilians in Ukraine are being killed in their homes and on the streets in indescribable atrocities and shocking atrocities,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty’s executive director, in a statement. “Intentional killing of civilians is a violation of human rights and a war crime. These deaths must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible will be prosecuted, including at the top of the government. “