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The Pentagon says it is not “refuting” that the “atrocities that occurred” on the outskirts of Kyiv were done at the hands of Russian troops.
Watch the briefing in the player above.
“I think it’s fairly obvious not just to us, but to the world that Russian forces are responsible for the atrocities in Bucha,” said Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby.
“Now exactly who, what units, whether they’re contractors or Chechens. I don’t think we’re able to say right now,”
Moscow faced global revulsion and accusations of war crimes Monday after the Russian pullout from Bucha revealed streets strewn with corpses of what appeared to be civilians, some of whom had seemingly been killed at close range.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed the scenes outside Kyiv as a “stage-managed anti-Russian provocation.” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the images contained “signs of video forgery and various fakes.”
READ MORE: Russia faces growing outrage amid new evidence of atrocities
Russia has similarly rejected previous allegations of atrocities as fabrications on Ukraine’s part.
Ukrainian officials said the bodies of at least 410 civilians have been found in towns around Kyiv that were recaptured from Russian forces in recent days.
Russia withdrew many of its forces from the capital area in recent days after being thwarted in its bid to swiftly capture Kyiv.
It has instead poured troops and mercenaries into the country’s east in a stepped-up bid to gain control of the Donbas, the largely Russian-speaking industrial region that includes Mariupol, which has seen some of the heaviest fighting and worst suffering of the war.
About two-thirds of the Russian troops around Kyiv have left and are either in Belarus or on their way there, probably getting more supplies and reinforcements, said a senior U.S. defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an intelligence assessment.
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