Kyiv Suburb of Bucha Marks One Year Since Liberation

    Kyiv Suburb of Bucha Marks One Year Since Liberation
    Last updated Mar 31, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via The Guardian]


    • 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.[1]
    • 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."[1]
    • Shortly after their withdrawal and the circulation of the first images from Bucha, Russian officials alleged that accusations of war crimes committed in the town were forged and staged in order to denigrate the Russian army. They questioned why images initially appeared on April 3, 2022, when their forces had withdrawn on March 30 and the town was declared free by its mayor the following day, adding that the degradation of the bodies was inconsistent with alleged timelines of when they were killed.[2]
    • Elsewhere, the US on Thursday said it has new evidence that Russia is again looking to North Korea to obtain weapons and ammunition amid alleged shortages — this time in exchange for food. Any such deal would be a violation of UN resolutions that ban North Korea from importing or exporting weaponry.[3]
    • It comes as Russia is set to take up the monthly presidency of the UN Security Council in April, in line with the 15-member body's rotation. Ukrainian officials chided the occurrence as an "absurdity" and a "cruel April fools' joke" amid Russia's invasion.[4]
    • On the ground, Ukrainian officials said one civilian was killed and six others were injured in attacks on Donetsk over the past day. Meanwhile, one civilian was killed and two more were injured in continued attacks on Kherson. Further attacks were recorded in the regions of Kharkiv and Zaporizhzhia without additional reports of casualties.[5]


    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.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 43% chance that at least 100k Ukrainian soldiers will be killed in the Russo-Ukrainian conflict before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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