Russia’s foreign ministry said that footage of dead civilians in the Ukrainian town of Bucha had been “ordered” by the United States as part of a plot to blame Russia.
“Who are the masters of provocation? Of course the United States and NATO,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in an interview on state television late on Sunday.
Zakharova said the immediate Western outcry over the images of dead civilians indicated the story had been part of a plan to sully Russia’s reputation.
“In this case, it seems to me that the fact that these statements (about Russia) were made in the first minutes after these materials appeared leaves no doubt as to who ‘ordered’ this story.”
Ukrainian authorities said on Sunday they were investigating possible war crimes by Russia after finding hundreds of bodies, some bound and shot at close range, strewn around towns outside the capital Kyiv after Russian troops withdrew from the area.
Russian authorities have said the photographs and footage broadcast from Bucha are a “provocation” designed to disrupt peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv. The Russian defence ministry said the images were “another staged performance by the Kyiv regime.”
Footage and photographs of dead civilians strewn across the town have prompted Western countries to call for those responsible for war crimes in Ukraine to be punished.