CBS News finds evidence of atrocities near Ukrainian capital as Russia is accused of war crimes

Kyiv — Global shock and anger at the brutality of Russia’s war against Ukraine was still under construction on Tuesday when Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the United Nations Security Council on the atrocities discovered in the outskirts of kyiv. Ukraine says mass graves and bodies on the streets of the town of Bucha tell a story of indiscriminate murder, and many world leaders, including the president Joe Biden – call it a war crime.

CBS News correspondent Debora Patta and her team visited Bucha to see for themselves the evidence of murders that Russia rejected as “false”.

REMARK: Some of the images in the video above and the article below are disturbing.

Moscow claimed on Monday that the deaths occurred after its forces left the area and that Russian soldiers never injured a single civilian, but an analysis of satellite photos, first reported by The New York Times, shows that bodies were strewn in the streets and construction sites of Bucha. before Russian forces made a hasty retreat last week.


Evidence of wartime atrocities emerges in Kyiv suburbs

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Patta said that when she and her team visited the city, they saw evidence of atrocities: civilians were shot in the head with their hands tied; at least one resident apparently shot dead by Russian tank fire as he cycled down the street; mass graves filled with nearly 300 bodies.

There’s a trail of destruction and death etched through Bucha, and Patta said that’s exactly what war crimes look like.

Having reported from many conflict zones and witnessed some of the most brutal atrocities of this century, Patta said what she found at Bucha was among the worst she had ever seen.

Bodies of civilians lie on the street amid Russian invasion of Ukraine in Bucha
The body of a man with his hands tied behind his back, who locals say was shot by Russian soldiers, lies on the street amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in Bucha, Ukraine April 3, 2022 .

ZOHRA BENSEMRA/REUTERS


“I have personally seen evidence of war crimes,” Patta reported on Tuesday. “These stories cannot be staged, and the overwhelming grief I witnessed cannot be fabricated.”

Patta and his team witnessed a couple react by spotting a particular victim in a mass grave. They thought they recognized their son’s arm, but it wasn’t him. Their grim search continued.

Inside a building, the CBS News crew found the body of a man who appeared to be blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back. The crude safety helmet he wore was no defense against a bullet to the head.

Destruction at Bucha after the withdrawal of Russian troops
A child makes an offering of food at his mother’s grave as his younger brother and a neighbor stand nearby in the town of Bucha on the outskirts of kyiv after the Ukrainian army secured the area after the withdrawal of the Russian army from kyiv region, Ukraine, April 4, 2022.

Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency/Getty


Yuri, a resident, told Patta he saw Russian soldiers bring the man at gunpoint to the building where he was killed.

The Russian troops had set up camp in a courtyard outside Yuri’s building. Their presence is still felt in the abandoned beer bottles, empty ammo crates, and overturned cars they left behind.

On the first day of the invasion, Russian paratroopers poured onto the tarmac at nearby Hostomel airport. Not much remains of this airport, where one of the most important battles of the war took place. Ukrainian defenders stopped the Russians there as they tried to take over the country.

The airport has been reduced to an apocalyptic scene, with the crumpled and melted undercarriage of the world’s largest aircraft testifying to the bitter struggle that prevented Russian forces from establishing a supply line there, but did not couldn’t stop their invasion of nearby Bucha, and the horror that followed.

Devastation in kyiv due to war
A Ukrainian serviceman walks near the wreckage of a cargo plane amid the destruction of the military airport in the town of Hostomel, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine, after the Ukrainian army secured the area after the withdrawal of the Russian army from the kyiv region, April 3, 2022.

Narciso Contreras/Anadolu Agency/Getty


Tanya Nedashkivs’ka found her husband dead among a pile of bodies at the foot of a basement staircase.

“I’m begging you, do something,” she said through sobs. “Make peace so no one ever cries again…everyone just wants to live.”

The tears of a widow demanding to be heard, begging the world not to look away.

Christi C. Elwood