The Russian military offensive in Ukraine is still under way and recent events have sent shockwaves across the globe. A few days after troops withdrew from the small town of Bucha, near Kiev, the Ukrainian authorities reported finding multiple bodies of dead civilians. What happened in Bucha is now being compared to the Srebrenica massacre – the Balkan town which became a symbol of the deadly war in Yugoslavia. Here’s what should be kept in mind about this.
Civilian deaths are always a tragedy, without any doubt, and they need to be investigated properly. The rebellion in the Donbass and the military assault now resulting from it can be called one of the bloodiest armed conflicts in the post-Soviet space. The widespread destruction of Mariupol during Moscow’s offensive, a group of Russian POWs shot by Ukrainians, and a missile attack on residential areas of Donetsk by Kiev’s forces are just some of the atrocities this war has seen so far.
Bucha is another one on this list. In the period between February 25 and the middle of March, when Russian troops controlled this small town, it saw fierce fighting. But around the end of March, the Russians left and the Ukrainians entered the town, followed by journalists from French state media. They found dozens of dead civilians, some of which had been there, unburied, for days or even weeks, according to the journalists.