DISINFO: Bucha is a provocation aiming to derail Russia-Ukraine negotiations in Istanbul
  • Outlet: actualidad-rt.com (archived)*
  • Date of publication: May 01, 2022
  • Reported in: Issue 281
  • Countries / regions discussed: Russia, Ukraine
Invasion of Ukraine War in Ukraine war crimes Provocation Ukraine

DISINFO: Bucha is a provocation aiming to derail Russia-Ukraine negotiations in Istanbul


The incident in Bucha is a provocation prepared for Western media that arrived after the negotiations in Istanbul, where Kyiv had made some very important concessions.


Pro-Kremlin disinformation obfuscating atrocities against Ukrainian civilians.

Evidence of Russian atrocities in Bucha is overwhelming. Several executions and shooting of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha were recorded in video by witnesses and Ukrainian drones. Satellite images show that some of the corpses were already lying on the streets weeks before the Russian withdrawal. Incriminatory radio conversations by Russian troops were intercepted and released by German intelligence. Dozens of Bucha survivors have been interviewed by world-class international outlets, including The New York Times, BBC, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Radio France Internationale, Al Jazeera or El País. Ukrainian forensic teams are uncovering further evidence of these Russian war crimes. Other false allegations denying Russian involvement in the Bucha massacres were further debunked by some of those international outlets like Deutsche Welle, El País or France24. Furthermore, a similar pattern of Russian war crimes is emerging in places like Borodyanka, Chernihiv, Hostomel and others.

Accounts of violence against civilians in Bucha have been collected by the Human Rights Watch:

"On March 4, Russian forces in Bucha, about 30 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, rounded up five men and summarily executed one of them. A witness told Human Rights Watch that soldiers forced the five men to kneel on the side of the road, pulled their T-shirts over their heads, and shot one of the men in the back of the head. “He fell [over],” the witness said, “and the women [present at the scene] screamed.”

See also here and here.

See other examples of similar disinformation narratives in our database, such as claims that the West is spreading fakes about Russian atrocities in Bucha, that Kyiv’s accusations of killings in Bucha are a provocation, that videos from Bucha are context-and-evidence-free, that Britain is lying by saying that the Bucha massacre is Russia’s fault, that Ukrainian “corpses” move, stand up and avoid transport in Bucha, or that the images of dead bodies in Bucha may be a diversion of attention from US biolabs in Ukraine.

This disinformation message appeared in the same TV programme as the claims that “Bucha is a provocation aiming to derail Russia-Ukraine negotiations in Istanbul”, that “Bucha is clearly a provocation as the corpses presented many anomalies”, and that “accusations about Bucha are as false as claims that Russia bombed a maternity in Mariupol”.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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