German Intelligence Service releases evidence of Russian war crimes

German Federal Intelligence Service has released a number of recordings that it intercepted from Russian military and civilian communication channels that prove Russian responsibility for war crimes.

The Freudian slip of Russia’s Ambassador to the UN

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According to the German weekly “Der Spiegel”, the German Federal Intelligence Service (Bundesnachrichtendients, or BND) the intercepted radio communications and phone conversations between Russian soldiers clearly implicate the Russian armed forces in the massacres perpetrated against Ukrainian civilians in several localities north of Kyiv, which have recently been liberated by Ukrainians. According to BND, the intercepted conversations completely negate any Russian denial of responsibility for the war crimes.

The evidence gathered by German intelligence is extensive. The Germans were able to identify the location from which the Russian military’s radio communication was sent, and it points to Bucha’s main road. In one of the conversations, a Russian soldier describes how he and his comrades just shot and killed a man on a bicycle. The body of a man on a bicycle lying at the crossroads is one of the most prominent images visible in the now infamous recording made by Ukrainian soldiers driving into the town.

In another radio communication, a soldier is told, presumably by an officer or a warrant officer, to “first interrogate the [Ukrainian] soldiers, and then shoot them” . The intercepted communication also indicates that the mercenaries from the Russian “Wagner Group” are responsible for at least a part of the atrocities.

BND considers the war crimes to not be random acts of violence perpetrated by individual soldiers, who have lost control. According to “Der Spiegel”, BND intercepted conversations in which “soldiers speak of atrocities as if they were talking about their daily lives”, showing the Russian forces complete lack of regard for human life.

Russia continues to deny responsibility for the crimes. Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin’s official spokesman and propagandist, also referred to similar atrocities perpetrated by Russians in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol as “fake”.

But in addition to the revelations by the German Intelligence Service, numerous other pieces of evidence of Russian responsibility for the savagery committed against Ukrainian civilians exist. These include, but are not limited to:

- satellite images showing dead bodies in the street, released by Maxar Technologies, a private company operating communication satellites, which were taken on March 19, almost two weeks before the Russian withdrawal; the state of decomposition of the corpses, clearly indicating that the victims must have been murdered some time prior to the arrival of Ukrainians forces.

Furthermore, in what British-French journalist Alex Taylor aptly called “the mother of all Freudian slips”, Russia’s ambassador to the UN has himself inadvertently admitted that the “corpses in Bucha… didn't exist before the Russian troops arrived”.