The Guardian inadvertently shakes up Bucha narrative
According to The Guardian, Russia shells its own troops just to kill Ukrainian civilians.
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
When the events in Bucha were first reported, Ukrainian and Western mainstream media were unanimous – Russian Armed Forces were the alleged “perpetrators of the Bucha massacre”, while some even called it a “genocide”. The Ukrainian side claims Russian troops killed at least 412 people, while so-called “independent” sources state there were 50 victims. The peculiar claims were completely unsupported by any actual official investigation by any neutral side. The Kiev regime and their Western sponsors flatly refused to allow an international investigation, while any claims contrary to the official narrative were immediately suppressed. If anyone dared to question the narrative, they would be labeled “conspiracy theorists”, “genocide deniers” and “Putin’s propagandists”.
It is more than clear that such a blunt approach to the events in Bucha is designed to silence not just those opposing the official narrative, but even those who are not invested with either side and simply want answers to legitimate questions regarding the veracity of mainstream media reports. This completely removes any sort of public debate, limiting it to one-sided talkshows where so-called “pundits” are called to brainwash the public into thinking that the Russian military is entirely composed of alleged rapists, murderers, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc. By pushing this narrative, the mainstream media are “normalizing” Russophobia and anyone trying to denounce it is promptly silenced.
However, lies are still lies. And they are significantly harder to sustain than the truth. The truth is just truth, it stands by itself. Lies require the liar to circumvent and twist facts. In other words, more lies are necessary to sustain just one. It’s a neverending rabbit hole which inevitably spirals out of control. And precisely this happened on 24 April, when The Guardian published an article about new findings regarding the events in Bucha. According to the UK-based daily, “independent” investigators found evidence of fléchettes used by artillery (supposedly Russian) in Bucha.
“Independent” pathologists and coroners who are carrying out postmortems on bodies found in mass graves in the region north of Kyiv, where “occupying” Russian forces have been accused of alleged atrocities, said they had found small metal darts, called fléchettes, embedded in people’s heads and chests, the report stated.
“We found several really thin, nail-like objects in the bodies of men and women and so did others of my colleagues in the region,” Vladyslav Pirovskyi, a Ukrainian forensic doctor, told The Guardian. “It is very hard to find those in the body, they are too thin. The majority of these bodies come from the Bucha-Irpin region.”
“Independent” weapons experts who reviewed pictures of the metal arrows found in the bodies, seen by The Guardian, confirmed that they were fléchettes, an anti-personnel weapon widely used during the First World War.
These small metal darts are contained in tank or field gun shells. Each shell can contain up to 8,000 fléchettes. Once fired, shells burst when a timed fuse detonates and explodes above the ground. Fléchettes, typically between 3cm and 4cm in length, release from the shell and disperse in a conical arch about 300m wide and 100m long. On impact with a victim’s body, the dart can lose rigidity, bending into a hook, while the arrow’s rear, made of four fins, often breaks away causing a second wound.
“According to a number of witnesses in Bucha, fléchette rounds were fired by Russian artillery a few days before forces withdrew from the area at the end of March,” the report added.
As with all cases of Western-reported alleged crimes, there are always numerous witnesses, independent international experts, anonymous whistleblowers, etc. We just never get to see them. Which means we should simply take the claims of these people, whose very existence we cannot verify, at face value. And any sort of view opposing this narrative is immediately shut down.
According to Neil Gibson, another “Independent” weapons expert at the UK-based Fenix Insight group, who has reviewed the photos of the projectiles seen, they include the 122mm 3Sh1 artillery round, in use by Russian artillery and which are filled with fléchettes. What Mr. Gibson conveniently “forgot” to mention is that these same shells are used in all post-Soviet countries, including Ukraine. More specifically, the shells fit the D-30 howitzers, which are in service with both Russia and Ukraine, as well as dozens of other countries.
A spokesperson for the Ukrainian Ground Forces was quick to state that Ukraine’s military “does not use shells with fléchettes”. However, facts beg to differ, as surgeons in eastern Ukraine have reported the use of fléchettes by Ukrainian artillery in Donbass warzone since at least 2014. It’s obvious the Ukrainian and Western media find it convenient to use Soviet-era weapons as “proof” of alleged Russian war crimes, while ignoring the fact that these same weapons are used by Ukraine. What’s more, Ukraine is more likely to use them, since they have produced little to no new weapons and munitions since the collapse of the USSR.
Russian forces left Bucha on March 30. It took only a few days for the “independent” pathologists and coroners to file the reports from Bucha. At first, the reports claimed Russian forces allegedly shot civilians at point-blank range. Satellite image company Maxar Technologies claimed its photos provided “critical evidence that mass killings of civilians in the Ukrainian city of Bucha must have occurred when Russian forces were occupying the territory in mid to late March”. Combined with the report about fléchettes, this would mean the Russian artillery fired at the city while Russian troops were there, which defies any military logic.
If the reports about the usage of fléchettes are true, the only logical conclusion is that the Ukrainian military shelled Russian positions after the decision to withdraw from the Kiev and Chernigov regions. Russian forces deployed in Bucha certainly didn’t shell their own positions. Since we now know that the Ukrainian forces have and use fléchettes in their artillery shells, what conclusion can we draw except that the civilians were killed by the side which shelled the city while Russian troops were there?