Amnesty’s report is the latest to document alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces when they occupied an area northwest of kyiv, including the town of Bucha, where Ukrainian authorities say more than 400 civilians were killed. Moscow withdrew its troops in early April.
The report concluded that Russian troops had committed a “large number of apparent war crimes” in Bucha, including “numerous illegal killings”, most of them near the intersection of Yablunska and Vodoprovidna streets.
A Reuters investigation published on Thursday documented clues, including testimonies and evidence centered on Yablunska Street, about the identities of individual Russian soldiers and military units present in Bucha.
The units included the 76th Guards Air Assault Division, which Amnesty reported was also present in the city.
Rovera said he collected in Bucha armor-piercing bullets and shell casings produced at a plant in Tula, south of Moscow, for rifles used only by elite Russian airborne units whose presence in Bucha has been confirmed by Amnesty.
“We also found and were able to see some military documents that indicate the presence of these special units in these places where these crimes were committed,” he said.
Amnesty said it had documented 22 cases of unlawful killings by Russian forces, “most of which were apparent extrajudicial executions,” in Bucha and nearby areas.
Asked by Reuters ahead of Amnesty’s report about Russia’s Bucha operation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “The Bucha story is a hoax and a falsification.”
Amnesty also said in its report that Russian airstrikes that hit eight residential buildings on March 1 and 2 in the town of Borodyanka, killing at least 40 civilians, were “disproportionate and indiscriminate, and apparent war crimes.”
“Russian forces cannot credibly claim that they did not know that civilians lived in the targeted buildings,” he said.