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MI6 chief claims ‘summary executions’ seen in Bucha, Ukraine were part of Putin’s invasion plan


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The head of Britain’s secret intelligence agency MI6 said on Sunday that “we knew” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to invade Ukraine included “summary executions”.

The shocking claim appears to link Putin directly to what Western countries have decried as war crimes uncovered on the outskirts of kyiv as Russian troops retreated in recent days.

Ukrainian officials and at least the leaders of Poland and Spain went further to say that the Russians committed genocide during what was seen as the Bucha massacre, as shocking images surfaced of civilians with their hands tied behind their backs shot at close range and the bodies of women and children bearing signs of rape and torture.

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“We knew Putin’s invasion plans included summary executions by his military and intelligence services,” MI6 chief Richard Moore tweeted on Sunday. “Reports of execution-style killings of civilians emerging from liberated areas are horrifying and chilling.”

Ukrainian officials said the bodies of 410 civilians were found in towns around the capital, Kyiv. In Bucha, northwest of the capital, Associated Press reporters said they witnessed 21 bodies. A group of nine people, all in civilian clothes, were scattered around a site that locals said Russian troops were using as a base. They appeared to have been shot at close range. At least two had their hands tied behind their backs.

In Motyzhyn, west of Kyiv, AP journalists also said they saw the bodies of four people who appeared to have been shot at close range and thrown into a pit. Residents said the mayor, her son and her husband – who had been tied up and blindfolded – were among them.

GRAPHIC IMAGE WARNING:

“Concentrated evil has come to our land,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address on Sunday, referring to the corpses strewn on the streets of Bucha. “Murderers, torturers, rapists, looters, who call themselves the army and who only deserve death after what they have done.”

“I want every mother of every Russian soldier to see the bodies of those killed in Bucha, in Irpin, in Hostomel. What did they do ? Why were they killed? Zelensky said. “Why were ordinary civilians in an ordinary peaceful town tortured to death?

“This is how the Russian state will now be perceived. This is your image,” he added. “Your culture and your human appearance perished with Ukrainian men and women.”

Moore responded to a tweet from British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss condemning the “appalling acts of the invading forces in towns like Irpin and Bucha” and calling for such “indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians during the ‘unlawful and unlawful invasion of Russia’ are investigated as war crimes. .

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“We will not allow Russia to cover up its involvement in these atrocities with cynical disinformation and we will ensure that the reality of Russia’s actions is brought to light,” she said.

Although they normally err on the side of secrecy, senior intelligence officials in the US, UK and other Western countries have been more outspoken about the war in Ukraine as part of a effort to counter what they call Russian disinformation seeking to shift blame for Putin’s invasion.

Last week, Sir Jeremy Fleming, director of GCHQ, Britain’s intelligence, cybersecurity and security agency, called Putin’s “personal war” in Ukraine a “strategic miscalculation”. “Even though we think Putin’s advisers are afraid to tell him the truth, what is going on and the extent of these misjudgments should be crystal clear to the regime,” he told an audience. Australia, according to Business Insider.

Truss said the UK would fully support any investigation by the International Criminal Court, in its role as the lead institution to investigate and prosecute war crimes. The UK-led effort to speed up and support an International Criminal Court investigation into crimes in Ukraine was the biggest state referral in its history, according to the foreign secretary.

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“We will not rest until those responsible for atrocities, including military commanders and individuals in Putin’s regime, are brought to justice,” she said on Sunday. “At this time, more than ever, it is essential that the international community continue to provide Ukraine with the humanitarian and military support that it so badly needs, and that we strengthen the sanctions to cut off the financing of the machine at the source. of Putin’s war.”

Truss is expected to travel to Warsaw, Poland to meet his Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, on Monday evening and his Polish counterpart, Zbigniew Rau, on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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