Kyiv Suburb of Bucha Marks One Year Since Liberation

Image copyright: Getty Images [via The Guardian]

The Facts

  • The Kyiv suburb of Bucha, where Ukraine alleges Russian forces committed scores of atrocities in their short-lived occupation of the town in the first weeks of the war, marked the first anniversary of its liberation on Friday.

  • Marking the day, Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy alleged that Russian forces killed upwards of 1.4K civilians and committed more than 9K war crimes in 33 days of Bucha's occupation. "365 days since it is a free Ukrainian сity once again," he said. "A symbol of the atrocities of the occupying country’s army. We will never forgive. We will punish every perpetrator."

The Spin

Anti-Russia narrative

Bucha has become indelibly linked with Russian war crimes and atrocities committed throughout the course of this war. Russian forces killed hundreds of civilians in the city — some of whom were executed at point-blank range — while scores more were tortured and underwent other forms of ill treatment.

Pro-Russia narrative

The events of Bucha were staged to vilify Russia's armed forces. Worse still, they took place when Ukraine had agreed to basic principles of a peace agreement before they suddenly changed course. Kyiv's backers in the West wanted the war with Russia to continue for the sake of their own foreign policy goals.

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