Russia denies 'fake' footage from Bucha, Ukraine
Moscow questions veracity of footage allegedly showing dead civilians in town near Kyiv, says it amounts to 'provocation'.
Russia on Sunday dismissed footage allegedly showing dead civilians in the town of Bucha near Ukraine's capital as "fake" and a "provocation."
Speaking at a press briefing in Moscow, the Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov pointed out that Russian troops left the city on March 30, as confirmed by the city's Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk.
Konashenkov argued that if killings of civilians had taken place as claimed, then it should have been mentioned by Fedoruk when he announced that there were no more Russian troops in Bucha.
"All Russian units completely withdrew from Bucha on March 30," the day after peace talks between the two sides in Turkiye, said the official.
He added: "Moreover, on March 31, the mayor of Bucha, Anatoly Fedoruk, confirmed in his video message that there was no Russian military in the city, but he did not even mention any local residents shot in the streets with their hands tied."
Konashenkov said the footage emerged four days later with the arrival of Ukrainian security forces and reporters.
He questioned the condition of the bodies that the footage shows, asserting that they lacked the signs of decay that should have taken hold over the four days during which they had allegedly been dead.
"All the photos and videos published by the Kyiv regime, allegedly testifying to some 'crimes' of Russian servicemen in the city of Bucha, Kyiv region, are another provocation," Konashenkov said.
He denied that any residents of the city had suffered any "violent actions" while Russian troops were there, adding that they were allowed to flee towards Belarus as Ukraine was shelling the other directions.
The official also said Russian forces had distributed 452 tons of humanitarian aid to civilians in the region's settlements.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba called on the international organizations on Sunday to send their experts to the country as soon as possible to collect evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian troops.
The Russian war against Ukraine, which started on Feb. 24, has been met with international outrage, with the EU, US, and Britain, among others, implementing tough financial sanctions on Moscow.
At least 1,417 civilians have been killed in Ukraine and 2,038 injured, according to UN estimates, with the true figure feared to be far higher.
More than 4.1 million Ukrainians have also fled to other countries, with millions more internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.
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