Richard Moore, the chief of MI6, the UK's intelligence service, believes that Putin's plans on invading Ukraine included civilian executions. He posted a Tweet in reply to an appeal by Liz Truss, head of the Foreign Office, to hold to account those responsible for the atrocities committed by Russian troops in Bucha, Irpin, and elsewhere in Ukraine.
“We knew Putin’s invasion plans included summary executions by his military and intelligence services. The reports of execution-style killings of civilians emerging from liberated areas are horrifying and chilling,” writes Moore.
As Jack Watling from a UK defense and security think tank said to BBC, mass killings similar to those in Bucha near Kyiv could be “widespread” across territories controlled by Russian forces. “This isn't a one-off atrocity. This is very much how the Russians conduct anti-partisan warfare,” says Watling. “The intent of those atrocities will be the same, which is to retaliate against the population for the audacity to resist. I think this is going to be very widespread.”
“They did the same thing in Afghanistan. They did the same thing in Chechnya and in the Second World War. This is a doctrine of anti-partisan warfare, which is about collective punishment,” the expert concluded.
Russia’s Ministry of Defense denies the Russian army's involvement in the civilian killings near Kyiv, dismissing it as a “provocation by Ukrainian nationalists”. On April 4, Russia’s chief investigator ordered an official examination to provide a procedural assessment of Ukraine’s provocation in the case of civilian killings in Bucha and a legal assessment of its actions under the Criminal Code article on spreading fake information about the Russian military.
On April 2, Russian troops started their withdrawal from the town of Bucha near Kyiv. Bucha was among the locations marked by the fiercest hostilities. Once it was yielded, the view was blood-curdling: streets strewn with the bodies of civilian casualties, including women and seniors, some with their hands tied behind their backs, some killed with a shot to the back of the head. The Insider spoke with Bucha residents, who shared accounts of Russian soldiers shooting at random passers-by, robbing houses, and stopping the locals from leaving.
The Bucha massacre was on the front pages of newspapers worldwide on April 4. Western leaders have announced tougher sanctions for Russia and more aid for Ukraine. Russia and Ukraine call for a UN Security Council session on Bucha.