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Germany intercepted conversations of Russian soldiers discussing Bucha killings, contradicting Kremlin claims of a hoax, report says

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Ukrainian soldiers walk down a destroyed street in Bucha.Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images

  • Russian troops talked about killing civilians in Bucha on the radio, Der Spiegel found.

  • The radio transmissions were obtained by German intelligence and presented to parliament on Wednesday.

  • They contradict Russian claims that the atrocities uncovered in the Ukrainian city were staged.

Germany has intercepted radio transmissions from Russian soldiers discussing the killings of civilians in the town of Bucha, contradicting Russian propaganda claims of a hoax, according to a report by Der Spiegel.

The radio transmissions were obtained by the Bundesnachrichtendienst, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, and presented to parliament on Wednesday, Der Spiegel reported.

In one of the recordings, a Russian soldier could be heard describing how he shot someone from his bicycle, Der Spiegel reported.

It is not known what day the radio messages were sent and where the Russian troops were at that time.

Images and footage of people killed, some on the streets, in Bucha emerged earlier this week after Russian forces left the town.

On Tuesday, The New York Times published independently verified aerial footage that shows a Russian armored vehicle firing at a civilian on a bicycle in Bucha. It is unclear if the person in the video was the same person mentioned in the radio messages.

Audio recordings also suggest that the Russian mercenary army, the Wagner Group, played a key role in Bucha’s atrocities, Der Spiegel reported.

It’s unclear who runs or funds the Wagner Group, but the United States and the European Union have linked Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to the organization.

The group has been linked to Russian separatists in the pro-Kremlin Donbass region since 2014, and accused of committing war crimes and human rights abuses in Syria in 2015.

Western intelligence said last month that up to 1,000 mercenaries from the group were deployed in eastern Ukraine.

Russia has denied any responsibility for the atrocities committed in Bucha, claiming without proof that the images coming from Bucha are staged or otherwise manipulated.

On Tuesday, Russian news agency RIA Novosti published an op-ed that speculated that the killings were a ploy by Western countries to impose new sanctions on Russia.

This timeline undermines Russia’s claim that the Bucha murders were a Ukrainian hoax.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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