Adding to eyewitness accounts, the work of reporters on the ground, and satellite images is new evidence that Russian soldiers who occupied the Ukrainian city of Bucha committed the atrocities the world discovered this past weekend. after the march of the Kremlin troops. The German espionage agency intercepted and recorded conversations between Russian soldiers that show that the killings of civilians were part of the war strategy, according to has published the German weekly Der Spiegel.
The federal foreign intelligence service (BND) has informed the German parliament of its findings, which include several conversations in which Russian soldiers talk about shooting civilians. Some of them can be related to cases of people found dead in the streets of Bucha, a city 37 kilometers from the Ukrainian capital, kyiv. Der Spiegel He relates that in one of the recordings, a soldier is heard talking about shooting a man who was riding a bicycle, which could correspond to one of the bodies found in the street.
Following the Russian army’s withdrawal from the city over the weekend, authorities discovered at least one mass grave and the bodies of several dozen civilians abandoned in the streets. In some cases their hands were tied; others showed signs of torture. Among the victims are women and children.
The Kremlin has denied that Russian forces are responsible for what all Western leaders have called war crimes. The Russian Government accuses Ukraine of having perpetrated them after the departure of its troops from Bucha, something that is contradicted by the testimonies of the inhabitants of the city and all the evidence collected by journalists on the ground, non-governmental organizations and the analysis of satellite images showing that many bodies were already there two weeks ago, during the Russian occupation.
Join EL PAÍS to follow all the news and read without limits.
In one of the recordings reported to the Bundestag by the BND, a man is heard stating that “civilians are first questioned, then shot”. The German weekly assures that from the conversations it is deduced that members of the Wagner group, Russian mercenaries present in several African territories such as Mali and the Central African Republic and known for their participation in “similar atrocities” in the Syrian war, participated in the murders.
According to the exclusive of this medium, which does not reveal the sources from which it has obtained the information, the audios indicate that the massacre did not consist of “random acts nor was it the product of individual soldiers who got out of control.” According to their sources, the recordings suggest that “they were talking about the atrocities as if they were simply talking about their daily lives.” This would show that the killing of civilians has become a standard action of Russian military activity as part of a broader strategy. The objective would be to “sow fear among the civilian population and thus reduce the will to resist,” the publication assures.
Der Spiegel It adds that more intercepted radio conversations are being analyzed. Some of them indicate that massacres like the one in Bucha could have also happened in other cities occupied by Russian troops, such as Mariupol, the strategic port city in southern Ukraine that has been under siege by Moscow for more than a month.