NEW – July 30, 2022
French volunteer and writer, former soldier Adrien Bocquet, who visited Ukraine, told RIA Novosti that he witnessed the preparation of a provocation in the Kiev suburb of Bucha.
In April, Bocquet came to Ukraine twice with a mission to deliver humanitarian aid, medical equipment and medicines. He visited both the Polish-Ukrainian border and Bucha, and saw how Russian prisoners were tortured and killed, as well as how Ukrainian militants were staging a mass massacre of civilians.
“When I talk about murder and torture, we are talking about the murder and torture of the Russian military men. First of all, officers were executed. I heard screams when ‘Azov‘ asked who the officer was here. As soon as the answer sounded, a shot was immediately fired into the head of this person <…> The worst thing is that I did not see any human attitude, there were no emotions, because before my eyes people were executed, people were hurt, people were shot, limbs were shot, heads were shot,” Bocquet said.
Thus, according to him, he witnessed the torture and murder of Russian prisoners of war in a hangar in the northern part of Bucha. It was in early April, that is, when the Ukrainian military had regained control of the city for several days.
Bocquet noted that he often communicated with UAF fighters and “Azov”, who surprised him with their inhumane attitude towards Russians, Jews and people of other races.
“I had to pretend a lot in order not to show my opinion and emotions and, first of all, not to show disagreement with their opinion. Disagreement with their Nazi ideology, especially when they expressed their attitude towards Jews and people with dark skin, because they were very cruel statements. And first of all, I’m talking about hatred for the Russians, because they <…> call you ‘Russian dogs’. And for all these military men, for the servicemen from the ‘Azov’ battalion, the main task, as they always told me – to torture and kill ‘Russian dogs’. As a former military man, this surprised me. Because everything showed that their main goal was to torture and kill ‘Russian dogs’, while they did not even talk about the liberation of their population,” recalls the volunteer.
In addition, he watched how a provocation was being prepared in Bucha to accuse the Russian military of mass killings of civilians.
“When we drove into Bucha by car, I was in the passenger seat. And when we drove through the city, I saw people’s bodies on the side of the streets, and at the same time, before my eyes, the bodies of people were taken out of trucks, which were laid out next to the bodies lying on the ground to give the effect of mass death of people,” Bocquet said.
He added that there were journalists nearby who immediately started filming as soon as some group of bodies was formed.
“One of the volunteers who was at this place the day before, I emphasise that I did not see it, but one of the volunteers told me this. He told me that he had seen the day before how refrigerated trucks from other cities of Ukraine arrived in Bucha, from which people’s bodies were unloaded and laid out in rows. From this I understood that there are dramatisations and extras,” the agency interlocutor explained.
He noted that both volunteers and local residents were under pressure — to avoid publicity, the militants threatened them with imprisonment and reprisal.
“We distributed medicines, including those containing narcotic substances, painkillers containing morphine. We were told in plain text: if you don’t share it with us, you won’t get where you need to go. I clearly remember that we had to deliver these painkillers to the children’s hospital and they told us that if we didn’t share, we wouldn’t get there. Moreover, when we found ourselves near Bucha, we were accompanied by military guards, they were ‘Azov’. They took us to one of the hangars and told us to prepare a separate box with morphine—containing drugs so that we could go further,” Bocquet said.
In addition, volunteers were forbidden to take photos and videos.
“We were warned that otherwise we would be imprisoned for a period of ten years or more severe consequences. This prohibition also applied to the local population. This pressure was exerted by the military, primarily by ‘Azov’. Europe today does not understand how much the population of Ukraine is under intense pressure,” the Frenchman said.
He admitted that he himself was threatened after he began to talk about the crimes of Ukrainian militants.
“From the very beginning <…> I began to receive threats against myself. And moreover, my mailbox, located near my house, was shot with a Kalashnikov assault rifle,” the volunteer added.
He fears that the French authorities will also pursue him.
“Of course, I’m afraid of this, I’m afraid that some things will be fabricated against me in order to silence me or put me in jail,” Bocquet concluded.
At the beginning of April, photos and videos appeared in the Ukrainian media and on social networks with the bodies of the dead lying on the streets, which were allegedly filmed in Bucha after the Russian servicemen left the city. The Kiev authorities accused Russia of mass killings of civilians.
The Russian Defense Ministry said that this was another provocation, and stressed that not a single resident of Bucha suffered from the actions of the Russian military during the time the city was under their control. The ministry also noted that all units completely withdrew from Bucha on March 30, exits in the northern direction were not blocked, but Ukrainian troops fired at Bucha around the clock from artillery, tanks and multiple rocket launchers.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, in turn, called on the international community to conduct an impartial investigation of the provocation in Bucha. He stressed that Russia categorically rejects any accusations of involvement in the deaths of people in this city and demands that international leaders not rush with sweeping accusations, but listen to its arguments.
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