Russo-Ukrainian War 4/2/22

Russian military weapons destroyed and seized by the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Bucha (Image via Ukraine MoD)

During the liberation of Bucha, Ukrainian forces entering the city found evidence of mass killings and large-scale atrocities committed by the routed Russian military. Some streets are full of bodies, having lain in the middle of the road for weeks, with civilian clothes and their hands tied behind their backs.

Ukraine has also lobbed accusations of rape, with residents claiming a group of women was raped and killed, as Russian soldiers later tried to set the bodies on fire. Additionally, in Zaporizhzhia, a group of young girls was allegedly admitted into a hospital with injuries believed to be sustained from violent sexual assault.

It is clear to understand that, if confirmed, these persecutions were not spontaneous. At the onset of the invasion, it was noted that Russia had cremation trucks and tens of thousands of body bags ready. They also had VDV riot police units and Spetsnaz police units on hand, right behind the army lines. Yet despite these measures, they still expected to take Kyiv within three days, driving a tank column directly into the city and attacking airfields in the region multiple times.

It is becoming horrifyingly clearer that Russia’s intention, with its body bags, police, and cremation trucks, was to conduct a massacre on Kyiv’s population. Assuming Zelenskyy’s capitulation, it is possible that Russian forces would’ve gone on to heedlessly murder all men of adult age and terrorize their families for extra measure. A Russian takeover of Kyiv would have been a massacre of unforeseen magnitude, and yet the killings in Bucha are only part of the Kyiv offensive.

In the South, where Mariupol remains heavily under siege, reports of ‘filtration camps,’ similar to those employed in Chechnya in 1999-2000, are coming to light. Whether by murder, displacement, or kidnapping, Russian forces have begun the attempted disfigurement of Ukrainian national and local identity. Throughout Ukraine, these cleansing operations, which the Ukrainian government has petitioned to consider genocide, have so far been indiscriminate. The killings targetting both Russian and Ukrainian sections of the country could be reprisals for Ukraine’s fearsome resistance, particularly in ethnic Russian cities in the East.

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