German intelligence authorities have intercepted Russian military radio traffic discussing atrocities to civilians in the Ukraine city of Bucha, multiple media outlets reported Thursday.
Some of the intercepted radio traffic can apparently be directly linked to dead bodies photographed in the town of 30,000 northwest of Kyiv, the German media outlet Der Spiegel and others reported. Hundreds of bodies were found in Bucha and other Kyiv-area towns when Ukraine re-took them in recent days.
Russia has denied involvement, saying the scenes of carnage were either staged or carried out by Ukraine troops.
Der Spiegel, citing sources familiar with the audio, said it reveals Russian troops spoke of the atrocities as though they were discussing their everyday lives. In one of the intercepted conversations, a soldier apparently told another about recently shooting a person on a bicycle. A photo of a dead body lying next to a bicycle has been shared around the world.
The Washington Post reported that, in two separate communications, Russian soldiers described how they question soldiers as well as civilians and then shoot them, according to an intelligence official familiar with the audio.
The U.N. General Assembly is voting Thursday on a U.S.-initiated resolution to suspend Russia from the world organizations leading human rights body over allegations that Russian soldiers killed civilians while retreating from the region around Ukraine’s capital.
Ukraine issued urgent pleas for more weapons Thursday as the U.S. prepared to resurrect a World War II-era program making it easier for the president to provide the embattled nation with desperately needed firepower to repel the Russian invasion.
Former Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko said the bill Is not only inspiring, but it also marks a new stage in repelling the Russian aggressor.
The U.S. Senate will vote Thursday on banning the importation of oil with Russia and end normal trade relations with the country in response to the atrocities in Ukraine during the monthlong Russian siege.
The trade suspension bill would allow the United States to enact higher tariffs on Russian imports, while the bill banning Russian oil would codify into law an executive order that President Joe Biden signed.
Some European countries are weighing whether to ban Russian oil imports, at a heavy economic cost: Russia produces about 40% of the natural gas the European Union uses to heat homes and generate electricity, among other necessities, and about 25% of the oil required to fuel its vehicles.
The Biden administration announced sanctions on 21 Kremlin officials and Russian elites in addition to two adult Putin daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, and the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.