Putin and Lukashenko falsely claim British agents committed atrocities in Bucha

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech as he visits the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Amur Region, Russia April 12, 2022.

Evgeny Biyatov | Sputnik | Reuters

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his closest ally, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, published a new theory on Tuesday about who is responsible for the murders, rapes and tortures. hundreds of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine while the town was occupied by Russian troops.

They insisted that no, the Russian soldiers had eyewitnesses, satellite images and forensic evidence all showing they had experienced a month-long rampage of looting and killing.

The real culprit, Lukashenko claimed without proof, was British special forces who conducted a “special psychological operation” in the leafy suburbs of Kyiv.

Lukashenko and Putin speak during a carefully choreographed press conference at a space launch facility in Vostochny, Russia’s Far East. This is Putin’s first public appearance outside of Moscow since Russia launched its brutal February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Lukashenko said he and Putin discussed in detail the “special psychological operation in Bucha carried out by the British.”

Belarusian authorities later told reporters that the Russian Federal Security Service would provide them with documents to substantiate his seemingly absurd claim.

“If you need their address, passport, license number and trademark, the date they arrived in Bucha and how they did it, the FSB can provide these,” Lukashenko said, according to a translation. of NBC.

Putin said that Lukashenko gave him “papers” about the Bucha murders that he gave to the FSB.

“How, who came to that arrangement, and facilitated the organization of this provocation and spoofing, the FSB has relevant preventive measures,” he told reporters.

The British Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to Tuesday’s request for comment on Lukashenko’s allegations.

Previously, Putin had said that the deaths in Bucha were “fake” and the Kremlin insisted that hundreds of bodies discovered were staged there.

But Tuesday appeared to be the first time that both Belarus and Russia’s security services helped promote claims that Britain was the secret power behind the plot.

The Russian military took control of towns like Bucha in northern Ukraine during the first weeks of the failed operation to capture the capital, Kyiv. When it became clear that the Kremlin could not capture the city, the Russian army withdrew, leaving a trail of carnage and destruction behind them.

In Bucha alone, more than 400 civilians have been found dead since the Russians withdrew, many of them executed, raped and tortured. Almost overnight, an international organization to document alleged war crimes has rallied and more than a dozen countries are assisting in the process.

Speaking in Vostochny newspaper, Putin used both defamation theory and disinformation to try to divert attention from the atrocities committed by Russian soldiers.

At one point, he complained that NATO had also caused civilian deaths in combat, showing how hypocritical the West’s anger toward Russia over the civilian deaths in Bucha was.

He then compared Bucha to cities in Syria, where Russian-backed President Bashar al Assad has used chemical weapons in the past. a civil war in 2013 and then accused the rebels of trapping their own supporters to trap Assad.

As Putin and Lukashenko plotted conspiracies to try to explain the impending atrocities in Syria, the international community this week hardened their resolve as evidence of war crimes mounted by Russia emerged. Russian army.

Hours after Putin and Lukashenko’s meeting and their bizarre claims about British spies, President Joe Biden said that this same evidence to him looked like something worse than a war crime. isolated – it looks like genocide.

“I call it genocide because it’s become increasingly clear that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of ​​maybe even being Ukrainian,” Biden said on Tuesday night.

“The evidence is growing. It looks different from last week,” he said. “A lot of evidence is coming out quite literally about the terrible things the Russians have done in Ukraine.”

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