Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Towards Understanding the Bucha Massacre

Bucha Massacre {masterlist}

April 4, 2022

(rough, incomplete)

updates April 8

Note April 8: way behind on updating this post and starting sub-posts - quick note on important point: bodies likely older than I had thought. But some that apparently are 2-3 days old and seen even later get a first sub-post next ...


I started out unsure I'd be mastering this quickly, so far just aware of the allegations and some issues. I meant to do a quick take, allowing for comments, which might be a big help here - but ... already I've gone off a lot and not much slower, and this post is full of material that will instead be split up and re-organized later.

Bucha, just NW of Kiev, was recently occupied by Russain forces - now it's freed, and horror was found - many men and older boys found, executed in the last day or so, at the end of a day's long liberation but just before public announcement of an effort to cleanse the city of Russian collaborators. We're assuming none of these murdered people were the aforementioned collaborators, maybe killed on a less-publicized schedule.

No distant Russian shelling, this was cold-blooded murder - Witnesses describe killings by snipers as far back as March 5, and a general reign of terror under Russian occupation. Some found in a basement bound and murdered, as well as tortured or mutilated, depending. We're told Russian military killed all men aged 16-60 left in Bucha before leaving. Bucha Mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk said on April 2 that about 300 locals had been killed during the Russian occupation of the town and that some 280 bodies had been discovered in a mass grave. (RFE/RL)

Shapravskyi, the deputy mayor, said some 300 people were found dead after the Russian withdrawal. Of these, he said officials so far have logged 50 as executions carried out by Russian forces. Reuters could not independently verify those figures. The others were either killed in crossfire, or their deaths are so far unexplained. (Reuters)

A massacre by whoever, marketed by Ukraine and allies, and successfully - I'll need to cover that. Germany for one is set to expel Russian diplomats, increase sanctions against Russia and increase military support for Ukraine after some people were murdered - quite possibly by the Ukrainian side - because "never again" until ... next time Ukraine wants support increased? 

Hoax or Massacre? 

This always has to be alleged - people keep wanting it all to be a bad-dream-joke. As widely posted and discussed, one of the several bodies seen on the roadside "moves his hand" as the truck drives by, and then sits up as soon as they pass. The rest look totally dead - 95% excellent acting and good make-up. 

No. On review and re-review, the hand looked like just that, then anything else that might move as a truck passes - a plastic bag maybe - and then it looked more like his hand again. But the sitting up part is absolutely unclear in a few frames in a wobbling mirror. AND EITHER WAY there are the others not moving, hands tied, pools of blood just hours old, many close-up photos, looking like real dead people, some of them half-buried, some blown up, some burnt, some just starting to decay. 

In fact, these same ones may have been laying there since March 19 - see below.

Timeline: Reports vs. Images

reports summary - Russian forces claim to leave "as early as" March 30, as late as not clear. Some never left, getting shelled in place in the city. Civilians were allowed out, they say, not clear if all made it out. 

 Mayor announces on June 1 (evening) that the city was liberated from Russian forces ("orcs") as of sometime the day before, 3/31. First video of bodies published by 2 hours after statement, ~8pm local time on the 1st, seemingly filmed late that day. More and grisly images follow on the 2nd and past, showing people killed withing the last couple of days. An operation to clear Russian collaborators was announced as underway by the evening of 4/2, but forces on the ground led by Serhiy Korotkikh already that day or earlier, when Korotkikh is heard ordering people without their blue arm bands to be killed.   

I looked over a bunch of reports & photos - Thoughts: reports emphasize early killings, esp. on 3/5, in a reign of terror (RFE/RL ...). 

However, the grisly images shoved in our faces appear starting on late on 4/1 (at the latest) but most images we see that offer specific signs are from the 2nd or 3rd. These show a massacre roughly over the last 2-3 days  = March 30 April 1, just after Russian forces left and up to about the time liberation was announced, as if it was done ... once all the "orc" collaborators were dead. 

Above is a precedent for earlier deaths, and there could be others like that. Ukrainian advance forces might have been in parts o the city even before the 30th. But otherwise, these bodies appear newer, though not extremely new. 

Among those that seem executed, at least one is dead >1 day, a green spot amid other colors on his lower right belly as seen on the 2nd.  "First sign [of putrefaction]: green discoloration of the abdomen in the right lower quadrant due to the proximity of the cecum to the skin" "Putrefaction begins within an hour of death, but the peak activity of the microbes occurs around the 24-hour timeframe." some "marbling" and darkening of surrounding veins, but not very advanced - with cold weather slowing the process some, killed maybe 36-48 hours earlier = on the 31st or 1st.  A LOT, these might be a month old - I was underrating the effect of colder temperatures - cold enough the black fingers (not a normal post-mortem sign) are probably frostbite - that will be closer to decay in refrigeration, on average, with nights colder and days warmer, so what looks like a couple days of decay might take a couple of weeks.  



A few faces (including the bicyclist with orange gloves) and other skin show at least some sickly gray-green color that usually takes days to develop, and longer in the cold, so deaths weeks ago seems likely.

Rigor mortis, if lacking, can mean a quite recent or less recent death, just ruling out a span between - evident rigor sets in after ~6-12 hours and fully relaxes again after 36-48 hours, maybe slower in the cold. But it's hard to say if they're stiff or not, mostly just laying there and not moved around.  https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/forensicspostmortem.html

White Armbands 

Civilians were allowed out, they say, not clear if all made it out. People involved in civilian evacuations with Russia often wear white armbands, or they do itto show support to Russia in general, or the Russians forced people to wear them - accounts differ. used in Mariupol evacuation https://twitter.com/SAQI8732T/status/1510986825598308355

Many of the massacre victims we'd see wear these or have their hands tied with them. Someone could have forced them to take off the armband and then tied them up with it before they were shot. 

George Eliason @gheliason

The Ukrainians shelled and cleansed Bucha after the Russian army left the area. The white armband clearly shows a Ukrainian who supported Russia there. Ukraine has been doing this for 8 years.

"The cloth used to bind the man's hands appeared to be a white armband. Russian troops...required that local residents wear the armbands to identify themselves, according to one woman who was still wearing hers." Otherwise you can't tell who's a local resident?


Some Killed by Probable Ukrainian Shelling

Famous image of bodies in the street, including the one whose arms doesn't move: not sure if these are among those bound and executed - these few don't look like it. White armbands still in place. But FWIW it seems like a mortar shell hit here recently, likely wounding or killing anyone in this same area at the southwest corner of town (app. placement below, credit Michael Kobs). Russian MoD: "the southern outskirts of the city, including residential areas, were shelled round the clock by Ukrainian troops with large-calibre artillery, tanks and multiple launch rocket systems." Apparent angle of fire is across the street right to left, or from the south-southeast, from the direction of Irpin and Kyiv - opposite of where the Russians were.

NY Times report w satellite images refutes Russian claims of recent executions by Ukraine shows these same bodies along Yablonska street were there since March 19. It shows they're a bit west of the spot I circled, and shows the splash of that mortar strike that was longer ago than I thought. Not bound, these guys have white armbands on when someone fired the shell at them.  https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/04/world/europe/bucha-ukraine-bodies.html

Others likely killed by UA Shelling
#Bucha massacre: Russians shot and sometimes blew up, removed boots, and burned all military age men in the city, per massacre reports. I bet they found some of those, and NO 🇷🇺 soldiers in these shelled tanks or many others. You find what you look for.

There will also be civilians, maybe children, torn up and burned, maybe from being too close to scenes like this. They would be passed off as deliberately torn up by the Russian beasts.

Timeline, Reports (more in full)

Mar 30/31: Russian forces leave, are killed while trying. MoD: "all Russian units withdrew completely from Bucha as early as March 30, the day after the Russia-Ukraine face-to-face round of talks in Turkey." Several vehicles never left, shown charred in town with inhabitants reduced to ash and bone.   

civilians evacuated - MoD: "The exits from Bucha were not blocked. All local residents were free to leave the town in northern direction, including to the Republic of Belarus. At the same time, the southern outskirts of the city, including residential areas, were shelled round the clock by Ukrainian troops with large-calibre artillery, tanks and multiple launch rocket systems."  Who stayed and why? Who meant to leave but got caught in the crossfire or murdered first?

"Liberation" commences when? 

March 31 the Russians left Bucha, according to mayor Fedoruk, But it wasn't announced until a video on Facebook, April 1, 6:31 PM local time


"March 31 will go down in the history of our Bucha community as the Day of Liberation. The liberation by our Armed Forces of Ukraine from Russian orcs, from Russian occupiers. So today, I state that this day is joyful. Joyful and this is a great victory in Kyiv region! And we will definitely wait so that there is a great victory all over Ukraine," Fedoruk said.

As Ukrinform reported, when leaving the city of Bucha in Kyiv region, the Russian troops mined civilian buildings and infrastructure." No mention of mass murder yet. 



Apr 1/2: Azov Nazis reportedly enter Bucha


first footage of bodies in the street along with shelled cars, BY 4/1 8:22 pm local, less than 2 hours after the liberation announcement video, perhaps a day or more after X time on the 31st. https://twitter.com/charliekreuz/status/1509944227899260945

burnt out tanks at the center of the mess Russia left, posted by 4/1 8:44 PM https://twitter.com/ThomasVLinge/status/1509949743744569344

famous bodies along the road video (includes "moving hand) 4/1 11:07 PM  https://twitter.com/ViktoriiaUAH/status/1509985789404459011

location: https://twitter.com/MichaKobs/status/1510677495066079232

Clearing Collaborators

LB.UA reports 2 April 2022, 19:25 (local time?) - "The city is being cleared from saboteurs and accomplices of Russian forces. This has been reported by the National Police." https://web.archive.org/web/20220402185448/https://en.lb.ua/news/2022/04/02/12441_special_forces_regiment_safari.html

Implicitly had begun already that day, April 2, or just possibly earlier than that. Perhaps they announce the cleanup starting as soon as it's done, so they can say all before must've been the Russians. Also "EOD experts are inspecting the places of Russia’s war crimes and removing the explosives and ammunition which haven't detonated." War crime places will involve body clean-up = clearing accomplices? As noted above, it seems the massacre ran about March 30 to April 1, +/- a day.

Serhiy Korotkikh


A clip of the reported “clean-up operation” published by Sergey Korotkikh, a notorious neo-Nazi Azov member, shows one member of his unit asking another if he can shoot “guys without blue armbands,” referring to those without the marking worn by Ukrainian military forces. The militant stridently responds, “fuck yeah!” Korotkikh has since deleted the video, perhaps fearing it implicated his unit in a war crime.


Lat night, Sergey "Boatsman" Korotkikh, infamous Neo-Nazi & member of Azov, posted a video titled "The BOATSMAN BOYS in Bucha". At the 6 second mark you can clearly hear the dialogue:

"There are guys without blue armbands, can I shoot them?"

"Fuck yeah"

On April 1, the group of Serhiy Korotkikh (Botsman) was in Bucha. He doesn't talk about any corpses in the streets either. His video shows empty streets with destroyed machinery. The video of the massacre is uploaded on day 1, there have been no Russians for more than 36 hours.


Original posting: https://t.me/botsmanua/16178 Apr 2 at 13:33 = 11:33 PM in Ukraine

Video not deleted, or re-instated, when I checked. Text description includes (translated) "BOATSMAN BOYS work in Bucha. Actually, there is nothing to do there." Because the collaborators were already all dead? No, some still needed shot. There was that to do. 

This guy Korotkikh - I had the name a bit wrong, but he seems to be involved in the 1/24/15 false-flag rocket massacre in Vostochniy, Mariupol. Gloating over that then vs. over new weapons now, vs. Bucha. Hm.


Re: #Bucha massacre: Azov Battalion's Sergey Korotkikh deleted video of “clean-up operation” approving murder of anyone not in blue armbands: I know this guy! From past deleted/private videos after a false-flag massacre in Mariupol, where he isn't stuck now - a bad turn for Bucha


Sergei Korotkikh, "Boatswain"

Сергій Коротких  «Боцман» 

w/Porshenko in 2020 https://twitter.com/life_korotke/status/1482759759023517699

2021 Serhiy Korotkykh "Boatsman" about the death of Belarusian Vitaliy Shyshov and "Belarusian House in Ukraine"  https://twitter.com/HromadskeUA/status/1430232622773547016

Feb. 25, 2022: promising to play football with the severed heads of Chechen fighters https://twitter.com/Viaches50993743/status/1497453248021770242

Feb. 26 #Ukraine: Sergey Korotkikh, a figure in the infamous Azov movement, appears with quantities of materiel intended to be used against Russian forces. However, most interestingly he is holding two UA-made Anti-Materiel rifles; SnipeX T-Rex (14.5x114) and SnipeX M-75 (12.7x108) https://twitter.com/UAWeapons/status/1497690688363900929 

March 22: https://aspi.com.ua/news/kiiv/teroborona-kieva-mae-stati-pidrozdilom-zsu-komandir-batalonu-tro-korotkikh-foto-video#gsc.tab=0
interview about the far right in Ukraine, 2014 vs. now, "certain restrictions on the use of combat skills" American & Polish fighters, "Theroboron" = national defense project Lithuanians donate to https://twitter.com/Virgis04261518/status/1504777247399555075

Russian Statement



The Russian Defence Ministry denies accusations of Kiev regime of allegedly killing civilians in Bucha, Kiev Region

Facts 👇

❗️All the photos and videos published by the Kiev regime allegedly testifying to some "crimes" committed by Russian servicemen in Bucha, Kiev region are just another provocation.

During the time that the town has been under the control of the Russian armed forces, not a single local resident has suffered from any violent action. Russian servicemen have delivered and distributed 452 tonnes of humanitarian aid to civilians in Kiev Region.

For as long as the town was under the control of the Russian armed forces and even then, up to now, locals in Bucha were moving freely around the town and using cellular phones.

The exits from Bucha were not blocked. All local residents were free to leave the town in northern direction, including to the Republic of Belarus. At the same time, the southern outskirts of the city, including residential areas, were shelled round the clock by Ukrainian troops with large-calibre artillery, tanks and multiple launch rocket systems.

❗️We would like to emphasise that all Russian units withdrew completely from Bucha as early as March 30, the day after the Russia-Ukraine face-to-face round of talks in Turkey.

Moreover, on March 31, the mayor of Bucha, Anatoliy Fedoruk, confirmed in a video message that there were no Russian servicemen in the town, but he did not even mention any locals shot in the streets with their hands tied.

👉 It is not surprising, therefore, that all the so-called "evidence of crimes" in Bucha did not emerge until the fourth day, when the Security Service of Ukraine and representatives of Ukrainian media arrived in the town.

It is of particular worry that all the bodies of the people whose images have been published by the Kiev regime are not stiffened after at least four days, have no typical cadaver stains, and the wounds contain unconsumed blood.

❗️All this confirms conclusively that the photos and video footage from Bucha are another hoax, a staged production and provocation by the Kiev regime for the Western media, as was the case in Mariupol with the maternity hospital, as well as in other cities.


  1. I have not read your analysis yet, but I want to record may independent observations. This only applies to the Yabluska Street half of the Bucha mystery. The other claims are poorly documented. Mass graves or whatever.... I will not go into them.

    Two events are juxtaposed on top of each other on Yabluska Street. The New York Times article and the Maxar photos are the key to reconstructing the timeline.

    There are up to 20 civilians who have died in Ukrainian shelling, most of them between March 9 and March 11. Yabluska Street is only 200 meters from the Bucha river, that separated Ukrainian from Russian forces. The street may have been in the no-man's-land, most likely there were no Russian solders in the area. Ukrainians would be unlikely to come across the river. Observation posts and artillery might be enough to keep them at bay.

    The street was under Ukrainian drone surveillance, making it a no-go-zone. If they they saw any movement on the street, they would fire one round from a mortar. There is very little battle damage on the street, but there are at least two craters from artillery shells. Both have dead people nearby.

    These older victims are never shown up close or in any decent resolution. All we see is black piles on the street.

    There are two or three fresh victims in front of the Idilika Home gated residential complex. One of them has his hands tied behind his back with a white armband. It looks as if they were executed. Or maybe the hands were tied by the film crew to make it look like he was executed. The executioners may have intentionally killed or dumped the bodies there to make all 20+ victims to look like one event and one giant massacre.

    The released footage is very selective. We never see the faces or even the skin of the victims. This must be intentional, we are not supposed to see the amount of decay or estimate the time of death.

    1. Good analysis - goes with what I've seen and think. The weeks decay works to their advantage, so I don't suppose they hide it. But all those bodies aren't seen close. Well, some may be - hard to correlate all close-ups to bodies in the scene.

  2. Probably related, the nearby mortar-


    A tweet I can't find but iirc Micha Kobs'(?) geolocation of burned bodies


    Yablunkska Street at the western end of that road, just over the railway tracks

    A mix of just left in street for weeks, others need(?) to be burned/buried and killed out of sight in a basement

    Video of the black car was filmed from about here (this direction of the black car)


    1. a burned family in pieces was geolocated to that spot by Geo-Confirmed. I didn't check it yet.

  3. Video of Russian troops heading towards the junction on Yablunska Street on the 3rd (assuming info given is correct). Bellingcat might be right about the guy with bicycle at least


    Located here



    A terrified 48-year old woman, Irina Abramova stands in front of her house. Behind her are two rescue workers placing a man's body in a black bodybag. The dead man is Irina's husband Oleg Abramov.

    On March 5th the Russians came in and shot at the house, telling everyone to come out. "We are Russians, we came to liberate you."

    After the family came out, the "Russians" killed the husband.

    Quote: "They took off his sweatshirt, took him out on the street, forced him to his knees and shot him in the head. And I was interrogated for 3 hours."

    The body was lying on the street the whole time (one month) and they only moved him next to the house when they found out that "they" (the Russians) had left.

    The first problem with the story is that the body is fresh, with pink hands and skin. It has not been dead for one month.

    The house caught fire in the incident. Everything inside was burnt, papers, documents, clothing. Irina and her father complain that they have nothing to wear, except the clothes they had on them. They do not explain how they have managed one month without a house or a change of clothes.

    I now suspect that the Ukrainians shot every male inhabitant of Bucha between the ages 16 and 60.

    Video: Witness. Bucha. (04/2022) - English subtitles

    1. That is fresher than most bodies I've seen - probably just a few days, even in the cold. Also her story sounds cartoonish. It fits right in with what's widely accepted, but that's the problem. But just who was killed how & when seems pretty mixed.

    2. FYI, Petri Krohn works for Putin fascists with Johan Bäckman, Janus Putkonen etc.

      They fake themself as "Anti-Fascist", LOL!

    3. K, I worked with the guy too for over a decade, off and on. Aware of his anti-Fascist work. It comes across overly pro-Kremlin most of the time, but to me it seems that bias better aligns them with reality than Western propaganda does. It's a better starting point. But either way it's what you do after the start that gets facts established.

      And Fascist still means Fascist here. I don't recognize its new supposed meaning as "Russian." So your joke falls flat.

    4. I started a new blog post on this topic. Please move further comments there:

      Who killed Oleg Abramov?

  5. The timeline for the 3rd as far as I could tell from tweets was Ukraine flag raising first and then a Russian column entering Bucha from the west. Judging by the trucks, they then turned north (away from Kyiv) and stopped to do some unknown task on foot


    But all would be in the context of the previously destroyed column the next road along. I don't think satellite photos are terribly good for verifying e.g. whether hands are bound

    There is also a video of Ukraine moving bodies with wires -some being moved could explain the 'spread out' nature of the victims in the road


  6. Germany has 'just remembered' they had radio intercept 'proof' for a month. Doesn't sound very believable to me


  7. No doubt someone had already found it but the 'torture chamber' basement and Russian 'barracks' were at "Promenystyy" children's resort (wrongly reported as a "hospital"), north Bucha




    1. Not sure about already, but separately I found the location, without copying anyone, yay. https://libyancivilwar.blogspot.com/2022/04/bucha-massacre-basement-executions-in.html

    2. Supposedly a command post from March 5 at "33b" (but might mean 34?) Vodoprovidna street too


      Residents admit to hiding weapons and ammo and say Russians were "on edge" about "combatants concealed among the residents". Maybe because they have been attacked by 'civilians'?

      As many have pointed out, the woman on bicycle's actions don't seem to make much sense so I think it's either edited or begs the question if some 'act of defiance' was involved.

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  9. My one observation on the cyclist - the video has been massively slowed down as she (not a guy, mislead by Bellingcat) reaches the corner. I think the original unedited video would show it was likely a tragic accident, the Russian soldier at the far left of the frame is actually sprinting down the street.

  10. The glass factory by the river would be next to NYT's "decapitated man"?





    "Russian forces entered the area in late February and captured the city on 12 March"

    I'm not sure why "Ukrainian soldiers who had fought ... in the Donbas in 2014. There were eight ... executed them by the glass factory in the suburb of Stekolka." wouldn't have been fighting this time around.

  11. Not sure, but if glass factory means where 8 were found, that's called an agriculture something center in this ITV report, and it was used as a sort of base, mainly for torture & killing.

    Will see about absorbing these reports. Captured March 12? That's awkward for reports in detail about takeover w.mad snipers & rape on or by the 5th.

    Petri has one of the 8 tagged as Oleg Abramov (see post here) - not the one with a chest wound I thought matched the video. https://twitter.com/PetriKrohn/status/1513430918165377026

    1. I see, according to the NYT + maybe others the 'base' was the glass factory- a little way down the road from the yard where the bodies were found (~660m from factory entrance road)


      If as Wash Post claims they have "surveillance footage from the factory" it should all be quite straight forward to prove? Although year old Google reviews include "Everything is collapsed and destroyed" and "The plant does not work, but the territory is guarded", it looks derelict in 3 year old photos so might not actually have working CCTV

  12. https://www.imago-images.de/st/0155388964

    "Tenderly buried", "holding a cross" but has her hands tied. So someone else tied hands before burial? As 'someone else' burned the two Russians on the train tracks by Giraffe Mall (Russia 'controlled' Bucha but couldn't go the few hundred metres to recover their bodies?)

    1. They apparently removed the ties before collecting the dead


      but I think it is relevant if tied hands =/= executed, tied for moving bodies or similar

    2. https://www.imago-images.de/st/0155799272

      It looks like those who died at the nursing home (so not executed) had their hands tied like this

    3. Hands tied in front wouldn't work well to bind living people for more than a minute. It's done for moving bodies usually, so they're less shaggy.

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  14. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/19/world/europe/russia-bucha-ukraine-executions.html

    So NYT now say these men were "manning a ... checkpoint".

    They identify supposedly the man in the blue top from the drone footage but the photo and other video show in front of him was a *blue* chair and a box. Other bodies should be nearer the fence but don't seem to be there on the drone footage.

    (Is there better quality video? Declaring that a blue blob is that man's body seems like the NYT Douma video 'investigation' again..)



    Man nearer the wall has his hands tied but on the video of prisoners being marched no-one seems to have their hands bound.

    I hope this bad quality drone footage isn't WP's "surveillance footage"?

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