Bucha, Revisited

The Ukrainian narrative constructed by the west is built on a bodyguard of lies. And there is no lie greater than that which blames Russia for the deaths of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians in Bucha who were slaughtered by Ukrainian security forces.

“60 Minutes” regurgitates disinformation about who committed war crimes

Sometime during the period between 1-3 April 2022, Ukrainian security forces entered the northern Kiev suburb of Bucha. Russian forces who had occupied the town had evacuated on March 30, part of a general realignment of forces announced by the Russian Ministry of Defense on March 25. Bucha had been on the frontlines and was the scene of heavy fighting between the Russians and Ukrainians; hundreds of civilians caught up in this fighting were killed and wounded.

Russian troops were civil to the Ukrainian civilians who remained in Bucha, handing out humanitarian supplies to those in need and bartering dry goods with local vendors for fresh eggs and dairy products. When the Russians withdrew, pro-Russian civilians were encouraged to depart with them. This underscored the Russian understanding of the potential for Ukrainian reprisals against any civilian deemed to have been “cooperating/collaborating” with their forces during the period in which Russian troops occupied Bucha.

Many Ukrainians who had interacted with the Russian troops did not leave, assuming that their normal interactions with Russian soldiers, including limited commerce and the acceptance of humanitarian supplies in order to survive, did not constitute treason against the Ukrainian state.

They were wrong.

Scott Ritter will discuss this article and answer audience questions live on tonight’s episode (Oct. 21).

Shortly after Russian troops departed Bucha, Ukrainian security forces made their way into the town. Announcements were made on social media and public broadcasting warning the citizens of Bucha about “cleansing” operations targeting collaborators. In light of these announcements, many of the Ukrainians who had remained in Bucha became concerned about their fate, and began to flee toward Russian lines. They wore the white arm band, indicating that they were not a threat to the Russian troops. Many also brought with them Russian-provided rations to sustain them on their journey.

But it was too late.

Ukrainian security forces, in particular the “Safari” unit staffed by veterans of the neo-Nazi Azov Regiment, caught up with scores of these refugees while they made their way north and, in the vernacular of the Ukrainians, “cleansed” them, gunning them down on the spot, or binding their hands behind their backs before executing them in the alleyways and streets of Bucha.

The evidence of this crime was overwhelming. But the “collective West,” led by a coterie of erstwhile journalists whose function had transformed from reporters of fact-based truth to stenographers of fictional propaganda, was engaged in a larger information operation, designed to shift public opinion away from the need to seek a negotiated settlement to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, toward the sustainment of a long-term war of attrition designed to weaken Russia in the long term.

To accomplish this task, the “collective West” needed to construct an unambiguous “good versus evil” narrative which portrayed the Ukrainians as the brave defenders of democratic values such as freedom and liberty, and the Russians as rapacious thugs marauding across the Ukrainian landscape, brutalizing an innocent civilian population. This kind of unambiguous differentiation of roles was necessary in order to gain popular support for what was to come—a multi-billion-dollar infusion of financial and military aid designed to transform the Russian-Ukraine conflict into a de facto existential struggle between “good” (NATO) and “evil” (Russia).

It worked.

Bucha became the symbol around which the citizens of the “collective West” rallied, supporting not only the intervention of their leaders to undermine a viable diplomatic off-ramp from the conflict being negotiated in Istanbul between Russian and Ukrainian authorities, but also blinding them to the devastating economic consequences of the failed effort to deter and defeat Russia through sanctions. Instead of demanding that their respective leaders work to restore a semblance of economic stability at home, the citizens of the “collective West” applauded while their governments transferred tens of billions of dollars of their hard-earned treasure to sustain a government which more closely mirrored the fictional Russian thug manufactured in the imaginations of western mainstream media.

Seven months later, the “collective West” finds itself at a new inflection point. After building up over the course of the summer months a reserve corps of fresh forces trained and equipped to NATO standards, Ukraine, with the assistance of NATO intelligence, communications, logistics, and operational planning support, carried out a much-ballyhooed offensive in the direction of Kharkov and Kherson.

By sacrificing this new NATO army (tens of thousands of Ukrainian soldiers were killed and wounded, and hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles lost), Ukraine was able to achieve impressive territorial gains without inflicting any meaningful damage to the Russian military. This pyrrhic “victory” led to Ukraine destroying its strategic reserve without accomplishing any meaningful military objectives. Moreover, the Russian response—consolidation of defense lines, partial mobilization of 300,000 troops, and the initiation of a strategic air campaign designed to paralyze Ukraine—has radically shifted the narrative away from “Ukraine is winning, a Russian collapse is imminent” to “a Russian victory is a defeat for NATO.”

Russia is winning.

NATO is being defeated on the battlefields of Ukraine.

Rather than accept this new reality and seek a negotiated settlement to the conflict, the “collective West” once again turns to its time-tested playbook of generating a false “good versus evil” narrative capable of motivating nations who have long ago emptied their arsenals and treasuries in support of Ukraine, and who are currently staring economic and social disaster in the face as winter approaches and the reality of the consequences of sanctioning Russian energy hits home, to once again invest good money after bad and double down on the losing bet that was, is, and forever will be Ukraine.

One of the main problems facing the so-called “journalists” who populate the western mainstream media is that even fiction writers as capable as themselves could not craft a believable narrative based upon the emerging reality that Ukraine is the living manifestation of the sickening ideology of Stepan Bandera, whose murderous ethos has infected every aspect of Ukraine’s government, military, and security services.

The other problem was that the Ukrainians were, simply put, liars.

Exhibit number one: Ukraine’s former ombudswoman for human rights, Lyudmyla Denisova.

In the aftermath of the “Bucha massacre” narrative manufactured by Ukraine and disseminated by their compliant co-conspirators in the mainstream western media, Denisova sought to sustain the moral outrage the original stories generated by releasing even more tales from the dark side. Typical of her modus operendi was the story she told to BBC, and which was picked up, unquestioningly, by other western news outlets, including Newsweek and the Washington Post, about alleged sexual violent crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine.

“About 25 girls and women aged 14-24 were systematically raped during the occupation in the basement of one house in Bucha,” Denisova told the BBC. “Nine of them are pregnant. Russian soldiers told them they would rape them to the point where they wouldn’t want sexual contact with any man, to prevent them from having Ukrainian children.”

None of this was true, and the problem with telling a lie of such magnitude is eventually someone—even a thoroughly compromised western “journalist”—is going to want to speak directly with the victims.

There were none.

Denisova afterwards explained the reason behind her lies. “I talked about terrible things,” she told a Ukrainian newspaper, “in order to somehow push them [the west] to make the decisions that Ukraine and the Ukrainian people need.” In one particular case, Denisova noted that the Italians were “against the provision of weapons to us,” but after hearing her speak, decided “they will support Ukraine, including by the provision of weapons.”

In the aftermath of the Ukrainian reconquest of Kharkov, the Ukrainian authorities tried to create a “new Bucha” narrative, this time around the existence of mass graves in the vicinity of Izium. But this storyline soon fell apart amid growing direct evidence of Ukrainian atrocities against anyone deemed to be a “collaborator.”

Flushed with victory, the Ukrainian supporters of Stepan Bandera openly bragged about their crimes. One Ukrainian volunteer detachment commander, a member of the “Right Sector” political party, admitted his crimes to a Ukrainian journalist, who expressed no emotion upon learning about the deaths of so many of her fellow citizens. “We haven’t got time to put them in jail,” the Right Sector thug said, noting that those accused of collaborating with the Russians “just disappear…Ukraine will have to conduct a census,” he bragged, “because so many people have disappeared.”

Videos of freshly dug graves filled with the bodies of freshly executed men and women, all in civilian clothing, their hands bound behind their backs, backed up the commander’s words.

Unable to craft a narrative capable of overcoming this brutish reality, the mainstream media resorted to the age-old trick of breathing fresh life into an old story—they repackaged the lie of the original Russian sin—the alleged “massacre” of Bucha.

On October 16, CBS’s flagship news program, “60 Minutes,” broadcast a story entitled “The Lost Souls of Bucha.” Scott Pelley, the correspondent given the task of resurrecting this story, narrated a script designed to pull at the heartstrings of anyone listening.

“The town of Bucha,” he intoned, “lived in relative obscurity on the international stage until early spring when Russian occupying forces retreated from the town and left behind devastation and death that shocked the entire world. Over 27 days, Russian troops killed more than 400 civilians in the Kiev suburb. Some of the victims were discovered bound and tortured. Many were left to rot in the place where they were killed.”

Pelley had visited Bucha shortly after it was recaptured by Ukrainian security forces, and played a major role in parroting the Ukrainian narrative of “Russia bad” when it came to attributing the cause of death to hundreds of Ukrainian civilians whose bodies littered the landscape. According to “60 Minutes,” Pelley “saw the devastation firsthand and witnessed a mass grave dug behind a church in the town center,” and “vowed to return to learn more about the people who were killed and buried in that mass grave.”

Pelley’s story did just that.

There is no doubting that there were victims whose bodies were buried in Bucha.

But they weren’t killed by Russians.

They were murdered by Ukrainians.

Hopefully, this time the western audience has wised up about the truth of what is going on inside Ukraine today:

The reality of a Ukrainian government which has wrapped itself in the red and black banner of the Right Sector, replicating the murderous history of Stepan Bandera and his followers in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in every village, town, and city recaptured from the Russians.

The reality of Ukrainian paratroopers who sing the praises of Stepan Bandera upon completing their training.

The reality of Swastikas openly painted on the tanks and armored vehicles of the “Kraken Battalion” and other neo-Nazi military formations within the Ukrainian military.

The reality of the criminal nature of the Ukrainian government.

“60 Minutes” and the western media can revisit the Bucha tragedy all they want; nothing they report will change the fact that the bodies seen lying in the street were killed by the Bandera-worshipping murderers of the “Safari” battalion, on the orders of Ukrainian government officials. Nothing can change the fact that these same Ukrainian officials, from President Zelensky on down, deliberately lied about Bucha for the sole purpose of generating western outrage sufficient to fuel the Ukrainian economy and military with tens of billions of dollars’ worth of aid.

And nothing can change the reality that all this investment has been in a losing cause.

Russia is winning.

Russia will win.

And repeating the lies of Bucha will not change that reality.