Newly released satellite images show that bodies have been strewn in the streets of Ukraine’s Bucha for weeks, undermining Russian denials of a massacre — as President Volodymyr Zelensky prepares to address his claims of “genocide” to the UN Security Council on Tuesday.
The images taken by Maxar Technologies on March, 18, 19 and 31 appear to show bodies on one of the town’s roads, Yablonska Street, as invading forces unleashed terror there.
Other images also directly matched the locations where bodies were photographed still lying on the streets where Ukraine says hundreds of civilians were killed in a “massacre.”
Maxar Technologies said the imagery “verifies and corroborates recent social media videos and photos that reveal bodies lying in the streets and left out in the open for weeks.”
Satellite imagery expert Jeffrey Lewis said it was “very straightforward” to deduce what the new images showed.
“You see pictures on the ground that show bodies relative to cars and buildings, and in satellite images, you can see the lumps on the ground in the same position next to the same cars and buildings, said Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
“What the satellite images show is that the bodies were present while the Russians controlled the area.”
Russia has repeatedly insisted the horrific scenes in the suburb of Ukraine capital Kyiv were staged, largely relying on the fact that its troops had moved out at the end of March, days before the images emerged.
“These are fakes that matured in the cynical imagination of Ukrainian propaganda,” Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said on Telegram on Tuesday.
Russia’s defense ministry accused the 72nd Ukrainian Main Center for Psychological Operations of having “staged filming of civilians allegedly killed by the violent actions of the Russian armed forces” as propaganda, without any attempt of proof.
President Zelensky had fought back tears Monday as he toured the town where local authorities say at least 300 residents were killed during a month-long “massacre.”
“These are war crimes, and this will be recognized by the world as genocide,” Zelensky said, adding Russian troops “treated people worse than animals.”
Zelensky is expected to make similar claims and call for even tougher sanctions on Russia as he addresses UN Security Council for the first time since his nation was invaded late February.
In his nightly address late Monday, he said “the sanctions response to Russia’s massacre of civilians must finally be powerful.”
“But… did hundreds of our people have to die in agony for some European leaders to finally understand that the Russian state deserves the most severe pressure?” he asked in the video, also calling on additional weapons from Western allies.
Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, has claimed Moscow will present “empirical evidence” to the Security Council that its forces have not been killing civilians in Ukraine and were not involved in Bucha.
However, the scenes have already sparked some of the strongest condemnation from Western leaders, including many also calling it “genocide.”
President Biden on Monday also said that it proves that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is a war criminal.”
With Post wires