The truth about Bucha is out there, but perhaps too inconvenient to be discovered

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publicerad 7 april 2022
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Former weapons inspector Scott Ritter (photo: David Shankbone) and the town of Bucha

“In war, truth is the first casualty.” This quote has been attributed to Aeschylus, a 6th BCE Greek tragedian noted for his “copious use of imagery, mythic allusion, grand language, wordplay and riddles.” It is only fitting, therefore, that the man who first gave word to the concept of modern-day war-time propaganda would see his quote come to life in the present-day Ukraine.

By Scott Ritter (Twitter) is a former United Nations Weapons Inspector and former Marine Corps Intelligence Officer, author, and analyst. | This article has previously been published on

The Kiev government and their Western information warfare advisers may have coopted all of Aeschylus’ playwright devices to craft a modern-day tragedy in the Ukrainian town of Bucha that exemplifies the notion of the lie as not just a byproduct, but also a weapon of war.

The main source of the Bucha tragedy reports is a videotape, taken by the Ukrainian National Police, of one of their convoys driving through a street in the town. A dozen or so corpses litter the roadway, many of them appear to have been bound.

This video has gone viral, producing a pandemic of anguish and anger that has swept over much of the world, capturing the attention of heads of state and the head of the Catholic Church alike, resulting in a tidal wave of condemnation and outrage directed at Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. The cause-and-effect relationship between the video and the global backlash is clear – the former could not exist without the latter.

One of the first lessons of objectivity is to slow things down to make sure that fact is not obscured by emotion. The Bucha videotape is disturbing. The video has been released in its present form, it appears, with the express intent of producing a visceral “shock and awe” moment for the viewer. If this was indeed the case, then those who released it – the Ukrainian National Police – have succeeded beyond their wildest imagination. Or that of their advisors, as the case may be.

The linkage between the dead and the Russian military was established immediately, without any fact-based data to back it up, and subsequently echoed in all forms of media – mainstream and social alike. Anyone who dared question the established “Russia did it” narrative was shouted down and belittled as a “Russian shill,” or worse.

That these conclusions are the byproduct of mass hysteria is beside the point – why seek to be objective when the narrative fits every stereotype that had been carefully assembled beforehand by the same people parroting the Bucha story today.

Social “preconditioning” of an audience unused to critical thinking is an essential step in getting this audience to accept at face value anything that is put before it, regardless of how egregiously the facts of the story strain credulity. And let’s be clear – the Ukrainian narrative of the events in Bucha seems to stretch credibility.

The chronology of the narrative produces the first red flag that the story being peddled by Ukraine, and echoed in the West, is not what it seems. It is established fact that Russian troops evacuated Bucha on March 30. Ukrainian National Police began entering Bucha on March 31, and that same day the mayor of Bucha announced that the town was fully under the control of Ukrainian officials.

At no time was there any suggestion by the mayor or any other Ukrainian official of mass killings undertaken by Russia.

The videotape in question was released by Ukrainian authorities on April 2; it is not certain if the video had been taken earlier, or on that day. What is certain is that the images shown in the video differed sharply from the narrative initially portrayed by the mayor.

For its part, Russia has vehemently denied the allegations, and has requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss what the Russian Foreign Ministry has called the “criminal provocations by Ukrainian soldiers and radicals” in Bucha.

The presidency of the Security Council is held by Great Britain, and the British mission to the UN has denied the Russian request, stating that a discussion on Ukraine currently scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 would serve as a forum for any discussion about Bucha.

One would think that the Security Council, which has shown a readiness in the past to meet on short notice to discuss the events coming out of Ukraine, would seek to accommodate Russia’s request on a matter of such importance.

The goal of the British, however, does not appear to be the rapid search for truth and justice, but rather to buy time to allow the political fallout from the alleged massacre in Bucha to develop further.

One example of this tactic manifesting itself is the reaction of US President Joe Biden. “You saw what happened in Bucha,” he explained in comments to reporters, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin “is a war criminal.” Biden took advantage of the Bucha crisis to advocate for the delivery of more weaponry to Ukraine. “We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight,” he said. “And we have to gather all the detail so this can be actual – have a war crimes trial.”

All this from the president of a country which has refused to recognise the International Criminal Court. For reasons which should be obvious to anyone willing to apply some critical thought.

Fortunately for President Biden and the Ukrainian government, the British chief prosecutor of the court, Karim Khan, announced in early March 2022 that he had launched an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine.

Given the high profile of the Bucha allegations, one would imagine that Khan has dispatched a forensics team to take control of the crime scene and oversee autopsies on the victims to establish the time of death, mechanism of death, and whether the victims had died where they were allegedly found, or if their bodies had been moved there from another location.

Khan would also be empowered to conduct interviews with the Ukrainian National Police, who have a history of close relations with members of the Ukrainian far right, including the infamous Azov Battalion.

Of particular interest would be any investigation into orders given to the police regarding the treatment of those Ukrainian civilians deemed to have collaborated with the Russian military during its occupation of Bucha.

The results of such an investigation would more than likely conflict with the narrative being pursued by the Ukrainian government and echoed in the West by compliant media outlets and politicians alike. This is the prime reason why Khan is not currently on the ground in Bucha.

One can assume that if and when Khan is eventually given access to evidence about the Bucha killings, it will have been manipulated by the Ukrainian National Police to such an extent that disproving the allegations will be virtually impossible.

The truth about what happened in Bucha is out there, waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately, that truth appears to be inconvenient for those in a position to pursue it aggressively through a forensics-based, on-site investigation.

If it so happens that it eventually emerges that the Ukrainian National Police murdered Ukrainian civilians for the crime of allegedly collaborating with the Russians during their brief occupation of Bucha, and the forces of international law are brought to bear against the true perpetrators of that crime, any true pursuit of justice would have to include both the US and UK governments as witting co-conspirators in any crime charged.

By Scott Ritter

“William Scott Ritter Jr. (born July 15, 1961) is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served with the United Nations implementing arms control treaties, with General Norman Schwarzkopf in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq, overseeing the disarmament of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), as a United Nations weapons inspector, from 1991 to 1998. He later became a critic of United States foreign policy in the Middle East” – Wikipedia

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  • Re bilden i ingressen. Det måste vara en skrotuppsamlingsgränd med tanke på hur noga det är med militär framkomlighet. Det är ju därför vissa tanks har en brontoskovel i fronten, för att just skyffla undan skrot.

  • I never really got a grip on what he meant as he never uses examples. I found an interview with him from the time:

    Russian propaganda is so much more superior and sophisticated (it is about penetrating the opponent’s psyche to identify assumptions, expectations, and intentions) than we are used to here in the West. “Putin is a nice guy who does the best he can but is both bullied and opposed by the evil West”.
    The best propaganda is to tell the truth. Not the whole truth and not only what is true. The truth can only be acknowledged in the affirmative way, otherwise you will be perceived as a liar.

     What I learned is to look at the outcome: why is the alt-right movement in US pro-Russian? Why do Putin and Trump want the same thing – weaken NATO? NATO is becoming more and more fragmented. Who benefits from it? Conflicts between Greece and Turkey (two NATO countries) a Turkey that, incidentally, is approaching Russia. Who benefits from it? US withdrawal from Iraq. Why did not the United States send troops to Syria? Who benefited from this? Why is the United States today more divided than ever before? I Would say that total confusion prevails in the domestic debate. Who benefits from it? If the US dollar loses its position in the world, which will also weaken Europe, who will benefit?

  • As an amateur media consumer, I discovered new media such as Al-Jazeera that were available in cable TV already in 2006 but above all new RT or Russian Today, when it came for the American market in 2010 and for the UK in 2014.

    In the beginning, I did not perceive RT as a propaganda channel – only a balanced voice against the few media owners in the west (USA and Sweden) – to read the news is one thing, to be told a story something else.

    I got the impression that the established media houses were a bit handcuffed in the beginning when it came to RT. The alternative media in Sweden at this time was somehow quite close to RT as well as the American alt right movement, which was not something I then reflected on, more that I got a slightly more pro-Russian attitude. I became aware of the real propaganda war when Axess Television broadcast lectures on Russian propaganda and Putin. A number of lectures were broadcast about President Putin’s propaganda given by a writer Peter Pomerantsev. This was in 2015, and he came out with a book on the subject reflecting his time worked in the Russian television industry as a television producer both from London and Moscow. He talked about military deception and so-called “reflexive control”, i.e., deception operations. Reflexive control involves getting the actor to act voluntarily in the desired way by shaping or influencing the flow of information. He mentions that Russia Today and Sputnik News build narratives by retrieving information from other news articles from well-established Western news sites. This creates a perception that the narrative is impartial, correct, and truthful. However, it is not mentioned that these narratives are in many cases critical of Russia. Forming narratives by referring to well-established Western news sites shows that Russia Today and Sputnik News direct their narratives to a target group that considers these news sites to be credible.

  • Den väsentliga omständigheten som även nämns i artikeln är att Ukrainas icke Rysstrogna myndighetspersoner inte nämner något om den aktuella massakern även två dagar efter Ryssarna lämnade området.
    Tvärtom talade dom triumferande om att dom befriat orten.
    Dom som sammanställer manus för våra propagandauppläsare har knappast undgått den detaljen.
    Hela mediavärlden är nu ett brottssyndikat. Dom gillar läget och gör karriär ändå precis som medlemmar i andra kriminella gäng.

  • skrämmande. här är allt tvärt-om. det viktigaste här i denna sajt är uppenbarligen att vara motvalls, att tro att all är en konspiration.

    ”Återigen ser vi hur våra makthavare härskar genom att söndra”DET NYA KALLA KRIGET 

    I Orwells 1984 är det yttersta målet för den härskande klassen inte seger i kriget, utan att befästa strukturen i samhället. Metodiken att söndra och härska är ett perspektiv som tål att påminnas om, särskilt när folket nu serveras sina “två minuter av hat” på bägge sidor av en ny järnridå, skriver journalisten Per Shapiro.

    Låt oss som ett tankeexperiment föreställa oss ledarskapet i Ryssland och Väst som delar av samma härskarklass. På bägge sidor av den nya järnridån ser vi en utveckling i samma totalitära riktning, med en tilltagande censur och en allt snävare åsiktskorridor. Under de gångna två åren har såväl Ryssland som de flesta västländer genomfört samma drakoniska frihetsinskränkningar med vaccinpass och masktvång, och slagit ut många människors försörjning med utdragna nedlåsningar av samhället.
    När det gäller den långsiktiga agendan för mänskligheten finns heller inga meningsskiljaktigheter mellan de skenbart fientliga makterna. De är alla lydiga pjäser på World Economic Forums (WEF) schackbräde och deltar entusiastiskt i genomförandet WEF:s fjärde industriella revolution, där målet för framtiden är en AI-styrd värld, allt mer övervakning och kontroll, samt allt mindre individuell frihet.
    Vad sägs om att vi slutar lyssna och lita till deras lögner, slutar basera vår förståelse av verkligheten på det vi matas med via våra skärmar, och att vi vägrar välja sida i deras söndra-och-härska-kampanjer? Hur länge ska vi fortsätta gå som en fårskock ledd från den ena propagandakrisen till den andra och låta våra känslor styras och manipuleras av världens rikaste och mäktigaste intressen?

  • All wars involve civilian casualties. The propaganda war is as important as the economic one. An absolute majority of the western world media reports from a pro-Ukrainian point of view. This means that a similar video from the Russian side (presumed war crimes) would never get the same spread; add the fact that Russia is the aggressor and Ukraine only defends itself. Therefore, it is not possible for Russia to release a video of Russian civilian casualties, as the war is not taking place on Russian soil. War crimes against Russian troops remain, but it will never be able to get the same attention and therefore not the same effect as murdered civilians.

  • Som enskild medborgare som inte var på plats i Bucha skulle jag säga att det är i princip omöjligt att någonsin få reda på vad som hände. Hur ska jag då kunna ha en uppfattning i frågan?
    Jag tänker att först och främst ligger att ha en ifrågasättande och kritisk inställning till alla parter i konflikten. Alla har en agenda. Jag kommer aldrig att få reda på sanningen.
    Återstår att ställa frågor om rimlighet, och att vara så bra påläst om den bakomliggande historien som möjligt. Då kan jag få en uppfattning som jag dock måste vara beredd på att omvärdera.

    I mitt fall syns det mig som att Ryssland har mest att förlora på att genomföra det de anklagats för, och Ukraina allt att vinna. Utifrån det resonemanget om vem som gynnas borde det vara mest troligt att det är iscensatt av den Ukrainska sidan. Att Ryssland och Putin skulle vara galna köper jag inte. Det är grova förenklingar. Ryssland och Putin agerar helt i linje med vad de har deklarerat i årtionden. Dessutom tänker jag att det ryska “hotet” mot andra länder är helt felaktigt och bara ett politiskt spel med ekonomiska militära och kontrollerande förtecken.

    • Titta in på veteranstoday för mer data. Det luktar false flag lång väg.
      Vilken rysk general skulle göra en sådan propaganda-fadais idag?

      • Det spelar ingen roll vad som är sant eller falskt, utan det som slutligen avgör är vad folk TROR är sant, inte vad som är sant. Det är en sidan.

        “Allt är möjligt, inget är sant”. Låt oss anta att det aktuella fallet är en “false flag operation”. Om altmedia då rapporterar vad RT och Putins Ryssland hävdar, nämligen att det är så, så undergräver det trovärdigheten för västvärldens medier. Vem tjänar på det? Det är andra sidan.

    • En genomtänkt analys av läget Martin! Det brukar vara Qui Bono när det gäller den här typen av händelser och man kan misstänka att fulmedia fått order om att spela med i teatern…Som MH-17 som med största säkerhet sköts ner av Ukraina och västvärldens ovilja att granska fallet på riktigt, medvetna om att sanningen är obehaglig!

      • Det liknar alltmer Roosevelts sanktioner mot Japan som tvingade Japan till krig, men Ryssland har ju allt de behöver på hemmaplan.
        Avsikten med debaclet verkar vara mer riktad mot folket inom EU med UA som kanonmat. Alltid samma osynliga tredjepart, som instigerar debaclet.

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