Russia’s Wagner Group Soldiers Behind Bucha Killings, German Intel Claims

Intercepted radio chatter apparently consolidates claims that Russian troops dedicated atrocities within the city of Bucha, the German weekly journal Der Spiegel has reported. It additionally mentioned that the Russian mercenary unit known as the Wagner Group performed “a leading role in the atrocities.”

The claims by the publication come on the heels of separate audio launched by Ukraine’s Security Service, which though not independently verified, purportedly additionally exhibits Russian troops getting orders to kill civilians.

The US and European Union have linked Yevgeny Prigozhin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, to the Wagner Group, which has been accused of committing warfare crimes and human-rights abuses in Syria in 2015.

Global outrage greeted scenes of lifeless civilians found after the withdrawal of Russian troops from Bucha. Some victims have been discovered with their palms tied behind their backs, whereas others confirmed indicators of torture.

Bucha, Ukraine
Residents stroll amid particles and destroyed Russian navy autos on a avenue in Bucha, Ukraine on April 06, 2022. German newspaper “Der Speigel” mentioned that intercepted radio site visitors from German intelligence factors to Russian atrocities within the metropolis.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Ukrainian president Volodymr Zelensky has accused Russia of “genocide” whereas his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden, mentioned that Vladimir Putin was responsible of a “war crime.”

The Kremlin has denied the accusations and made claims, albeit unsubstantiated, that the alleged actions had been staged by Ukraine.

Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s international intelligence service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), had intercepted feedback from troops that “appear to completely refute” Russia’s denials.

The journal mentioned that a few of the intercepted site visitors apparently matches the areas of our bodies discovered alongside the primary highway by way of city.

In one message, a soldier apparently advised one other they’d simply shot an individual on a bicycle, which is in line with a broadly shared picture of a lifeless physique mendacity subsequent to a motorbike.

The New York Times printed independently verified aerial footage of a Russian armored automobile taking pictures at a civilian on a bicycle in Bucha though it’s unclear if it was the identical particular person referred to within the radio messages.

In one other intercepted dialog, a person is heard saying that troopers ought to be first interrogated after which shot.

Der Spiegel reported that the intercepted radio site visitors advised that the alleged atrocities civilians suffered in Bucha “were neither random acts nor the product of individual soldiers who got out of hand.”

Sources acquainted with the audio mentioned that it confirmed how the homicide of civilians is an ordinary a part of Russian navy exercise. The publication reported that the BND had briefed parliamentarians on Wednesday about its findings.

The Washington Post reported that the audio was additionally verified by three folks briefed on the knowledge.

In an announcement to Newsweek, a BND spokesperson Isabelle Kalbitzer mentioned, “as a matter of principle, the Federal Intelligence Service does not comment publicly on matters concerning any intelligence findings or activities.

“This doesn’t indicate any assertion as as to whether the details are correct or not.”

“The Federal Intelligence Service studies on related issues particularly to the Federal Government and to the competent committees of the German Bundestag, which meet in secret,” the statement added.

Newsweek has contacted the Kremlin for comment.

As previously reported by Newsweek, Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov said that claims made about alleged Russian actions in Bucha could threaten peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

Ukraine’s defense ministry tweeted the Der Spiegel article.

Antonov said that Ukrainian authorities were “scaling up their anti-Russian disinformation marketing campaign,” and spreading “new baseless accusations about alleged atrocities and warfare crimes.”

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