German intelligence intercepted radio transmissions in which Russian forces were discussing indiscriminate killings north of the capital Kyiv, according to two officials briefed on an intelligence report.
The conversations were intercepted by Russian Army Radio and include one Russian telling another that you first interrogate people and then you kill them. The interceptions were reported earlier by German news magazine Der Spiegel.
The report adds to evidence uncovered by The New York Times and other organizations about the killings of civilians in Russian-occupied northern Ukrainian cities, despite broad denials from the Kremlin. Images from the town of Bucha, north of kyiv, showing bodies – some with their hands tied or a bullet in the back of their necks – sparked global outrage and fresh pledges of military aid to Ukraine from of western countries.
It could not be confirmed whether the radio transmissions collected by German intelligence came from Bucha or another location near the capital, one of the officials said.
Germany’s intelligence services reported their findings to the parliamentary intelligence oversight committee on Wednesday.
Among the documents collected by German intelligence services are satellite images showing bodies lying in the street in Bucha during the period when Russian forces occupied the city. The images would add to evidence, including satellite photos verified by The Times, which refute Russian claims that the killings took place after their forces withdrew from Bucha.
Russia, after being blocked in its attempts to take kyiv, withdrew the troops it had deployed against the capital and Chernihiv, another major city in northern Ukraine. Russian forces are now moving in force into eastern Ukraine, where authorities are urgently calling on residents to evacuate while there is still time.