AZOV neo-Nazi soldiers in Ukraine (AP Images)
Bucha Atrocities: Were Perpetrators Russian Troops or Ukrainian Neonazis?
Who massacred the people of Bucha? Grisly photos and video footage of bodies in mass graves and in the streets in Bucha have made this Ukrainian city (population 37,000) 23 miles northwest of Kyiv the new Ground Zero in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War.
Who perpetrated these atrocities? Before evidence could be rationally processed and independently examined to answer this basic question, we were presented with a manufactured “global consensus” on the matter. According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the Biden administration, the United Nations, and the Fake News industrial complex, the verdict is already in: Russian troops carried out the horrific atrocities, which reportedly included mass-murder of men, women, and children, as well as torture, mutilation, beheadings, dismemberment, and rape.
“The world has already seen many war crimes, at different times, on different continents,” said President Zelensky, in a video address on Sunday, April 3. “But it is time to do everything possible to make the war crimes of the Russian military the last manifestation of such evil on earth,” he said.
He spoke of “hundreds of people killed, tortured, executed civilians,” and charged there were “bodies on the streets … booby-trapped area … even the bodies of the dead are booby-trapped.”
“I want all the leaders of the Russian Federation to see how their orders are being fulfilled,” Zelensky continued. “Such orders. Such a fulfillment. And joint responsibility. For these murders, for these tortures, for these arms torn off by explosions that lie on the streets. For shots in the back of the head of tied people. This is how the Russian state will now be perceived. This is your image.”
On April 5, Zelensky warned that the atrocities in Bucha may be surpassed by even worse outrages in Borodyanka and other Ukrainian towns and villages. In his emotionally charged video address to the United Nations, Zelensky accused Russian troops of indiscriminately killing Ukrainian civilians “just for their pleasure.” “They shot and killed women outside their houses when they just tried to call someone…. They killed entire families, adults and children and they tried to burn the bodies,” Zelensky said.
On April 7, the United Nations General Assembly voted by the required two-thirds of members voting to adopt a resolution calling for Russia to be suspended from the Human Rights Council. The ostensible cause for the move is the alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine, including the claims of the atrocities allegedly committed by Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians in Bucha and elsewhere.
Russia’s Denials: Who’s Lying?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denounced the Bucha massacre charges as “fake” in a statement carried by Russian news agency TASS on April 4. “The other day another fake attack was carried out in the city of Bucha in the Kiev region after the Russian servicemen left the area in accordance with the plans and agreements reached,” the Russian Foreign Minister said. “A fake attack was staged there a few days later, and it’s being fomented on all channels and social media by Ukrainian representatives and their Western patrons.”
As to be expected, Lavrov’s statement and other similar denials from Russian spokesmen have been dismissed out of hand by western officials and media as self-serving Kremlin propaganda. Normally, that is not an unreasonable position, particularly considering the fact that TASS, Pravda, Novosti, and other Russian media are notorious state-controlled holdovers from the communist epoch of the Soviet Union. But there appear to be troubling facts that contradict the “Russia did it” narrative of Zelensky, the U.S.-European Fake News opinion cartel, and other official and unofficial operatives of the U.S. Deep State.
Various independent analysts have pointed out glaring holes and inconsistencies in the prevailing narrative. In an April 4 column for Consortium News titled “Questions Abound About Bucha Massacre,” for instance, reporter Joe Lauria noted troubling problems with the Zelensky timeline on Bucha. All Russian forces left Bucha on Wednesday, March 30, Lauria observes, citing agreement on this fact from all sides: Russian and Ukrainian officials and western media observers.
The Russian departure, he says “was confirmed on Thursday by a smiling Anatolii Fedoruk, the mayor of Bucha, in a video on the Bucha City Council official Facebook page.” Lauria notes that the “translated post accompanying the video says: ‘March 31 – the day of the liberation of Bucha. This was announced by Bucha Mayor Anatolii Fedoruk. This day will go down in the glorious history of Bucha and the entire Bucha community as a day of liberation by the Armed Forces of Ukraine from the Russian occupiers.’”
Lauria continues: “All of the Russian troops are gone and yet there is no mention of a massacre. The beaming Fedoruk says it is a ‘glorious day’ in the history of Bucha, which would hardly be the case if hundreds of dead civilians littered the streets around Fedoruk.”
Jason Michael McCann of the Standpoint Zero blog similarly challenges the “Russians did it” scenario based on the timeline and contrary evidence. He observes that “this is a strange story,” pointing out:
There is no shortage of photographic evidence of the aftermath. No one can dispute that hundreds of civilians have been butchered on the streets of their towns. We can all see it. We know that this happened. Yet, from the beginning of this conflict the media has stressed the point that this war is going on in the ‘civilised world.’ Every moment of this is being caught on camera by ordinary people. There is not a single piece of video footage of this massive crime; not a single snapshot, social media update, text message — nothing. The first anyone anywhere hears about this disgraceful and very public crime is when it hits the papers. In Mariupol, a city entirely surrounded by Russian forces, residents are using Skype to contact news outlets in Greece. Even within the Russian occupied south and east of the country ordinary citizens are filming what the Russians are doing, and what the Ukrainian forces are doing to the Russians. From a few miles north of Kyiv, however, during a horrific and sustained attack on the civilian population, we have nothing but silence until the press breaks the story. This is strange.
Zelensky’s Nazi SS: Azov Battalion in Bucha
McCann, who writes from a left-of-center perspective, notes that the strange silence from Bucha residents about the atrocities certainly wasn’t because of lack of access to the Internet and social media, since residents and the officials of the town council were posting on social media throughout this time period. Also strange was the silence from the media. McCann points out that the New York Times’ photojournalist Daniel Berehulak was on the ground in Bucha accompanying the Azov Battalion, which along with the Special Forces of the SAFARI Regiment, were the first Ukrainian units to enter the town.
McCann further points out that on April 2, the fourth day after the Russians departed, “Ekaterina Ukraintsiva, representing the town council authority, appeared on an information video on the Bucha Live Telegram page wearing military fatigues and seated in front of a Ukrainian flag to announce ‘the cleansing of the city.’”
She informed residents that the arrival of the Azov battalion did not mean that liberation was complete (but it was, the Russians had fully withdrawn), and that a ‘complete sweep’ had to be performed. Before signing off, she instructed residents to remain in their shelters and not to go about the streets. Now, as an aside here, this message was shared on social media. So, this does away with the idea that witnesses to the mass killings said to have been committed by the Russians couldn’t communicate with the outside world. They could, and we have lots of evidence of online chatter from within Bucha during this period — only, we have no evidence of a massacre.
McCann concludes that the savage massacre “sounds for all the world like reprisals” against “saboteurs and accomplices” by the Azov Battalion, not atrocities perpetrated by Russian troops. This is not mere pro-Putin propaganda; the Azov Battalion has been widely reported — by sources from across the political spectrum -— to be a full-on Nazi, violent, white supremacist outfit (see here, here, here, and here).
In fact, over the past several years, left-wing Democrats in the U.S. Congress have targeted the Azov Battalion for harsh criticism, calling on the U.S. government to designate the organization as a terrorist group and campaigning to assure that no U.S. weapons or funding for Ukraine would be funneled to Azov units.
“White supremacy and neo-Nazism are unacceptable and have no place in our world,” Representative Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), an outspoken critic of providing lethal aid to Ukraine, said in a statement to The Hill on March 27, 2018. “I am very pleased that the recently passed omnibus prevents the U.S. from providing arms and training assistance to the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion fighting in Ukraine.”
In 2019, Rep. Max Rose (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence & Counterterrorism, led a letter from 40 members of Congress urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to designate the Azov Battalion as a terrorist organization. Even the UN’s Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), in a 2016 report, accused Azov members of rape, torture, and other forms of sexual violence. In 2019, Facebook, under its Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, banned praise for Azov, but recently reversed that policy stating: “For the time being, we are making a narrow exception for praise of the Azov Regiment strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.” Wikipedia describes the Azov Battalion as “a neo-Nazi unit” and notes the prominent use on Azov uniforms of the Nazi Wolfsangel insignia, which was the symbol of Hitler’s feared SS troops.
Now, anyone who has lived through the last several years knows that when the usual leftist agitators and their media allies subject some poor individual or organization to pounding screams of “Nazi,” “fascist,” “racist,” and “white supremacist,” there’s a pretty good chance the object of their venom simply disagrees with their Marxist/globalist agenda. That doesn’t mean, however, that they are wrong every time they erupt in frenzied fits of Nazi finger-pointing. After all, as the well-worn adage correctly avers: Even a broken clock is right twice a day. And the evidence has been mounting for many years that in the case of the Azov Battalion, the broken-clock leftists appear to have hit on one of their “right” times.
Azov Battalion and the Deep State
Nevertheless, despite all the accumulating strikes against them, the Azov thugs became the latest terrorist proteges of the Deep State. During the Obama administration, the CIA and Department of Defense began showering the Azov “patriots” with money, weapons, and training, even bringing them to the United States for advanced schooling. And it continues today. (See, for instance, here, here, here, and here.)
When it comes to sponsoring terrorists, the CIA’s Azov caper is not the Agency’s first rodeo. As we have reported extensively over the years, during both Democrat and Republican administrations, the American Deep State shadow government has repeatedly backed the most murderous and anti-American terrorist thugs: al-Qaeda, ISIS, Islamic Jihad, PLO, Hamas, Hezbollah, Kosovo Liberation Army, Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, Free Syrian Army, and more. (See here, here, and here.)
Now the Biden-Pelosi Democrats and their corporate media cabal partners label anyone who resists the war drums or questions the glaring discrepancies in their Russia-Ukraine narrative of being “Putin propagandists” and “Russian agents.” However, we would remind readers that, unlike the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press, PBS, CNN, CBS, MSNBC, et al, — who celebrated Putin up until his 2014 invasion of Crimea — The New American has exposed and opposed Putin’s deceits and designs for the past 22 years (see, for example, here and here, as well as stories linked below this article).
Considering the Fake News lie machine’s unrelenting campaign of propaganda, disinformation, indoctrination, censorship, and suppression over the past few years (think anti-Trump Derangement Syndrome, BLM riots, COVID-19, Jussie Smollet, Nick Sandmann and Covington Catholic boys, Hunter Biden’s laptop, Joe Biden’s Ukraine & China deals, Biden’s mumbling and stumbling, Drag Queen Story Hour, LGBTQ-CRT brainwashing, cancel culture, etc., ad infinitum), critical thinkers will pause and ask questions before allowing themselves to be emotionally manipulated into rushing like lemmings over the cliff into support for a new war and all that goes along with it: massive bailouts, huge hikes in energy prices, hyper-inflationary government spending, introduction of a central bank digital currency, policies that create food shortages, and vast new restrictions on our freedoms.
The suffering of the victims in Ukraine is very real and very tragic, but sorting out the facts and the truth amidst the chaos of competing propagandas and orchestrated deception is very difficult. We would remind readers that the ruling regimes in Moscow and Kyiv are both colossally corrupt and that we are not being offered a simple binary choice between good and evil. Instead, we are being offered a choice between arsenic or cyanide — and we should swallow neither one.
William F. Jasper
Senior editor William F. Jasper is an author/journalist/commentator/documentary producer with a well-earned reputation as one of America’s top investigative reporters, most renowned for his in-depth, years-long investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and its aftermath. For more than three decades he served as an accredited correspondent at the United Nations in New York and UN summits around the world.
Published with Permission of thenewamerican.com