I am publishing the translated report below simply because it is not likely to appear in the NATO block media any time soon. The atrocity in Bucha, Ukraine was great anti-Russian propaganda for a couple weeks until the third-party professional investigation began. When evidence emerged that pointed to the Ukrainian military being responsible, the story vanished from the media.

This is the familiar pattern seen in a long series of alleged outrageous transgressions by Russia. They serve their purpose of stirring up outrage for a while, then they are allowed to quietly disappear when it becomes clear that the allegations cannot be proven, or the evidence starts to point in an inconvenient direction, or the evidence, if shown to the world, would reveal too much classified information. Bucha will be forgotten just like other useful tragedies. What happened to the investigation into downing of Flight MH17? For a few years, the NATO bloc media claimed the evidence was so solid, but then the investigation faded from the headlines.  And where are the Skripals? Why can no one in the media talk to them?

The following is a translation of an article posted by the Spanish media platform MPR21. It is a machine translation slightly edited for readability by a human.

French Gendarmerie’s investigation finds shrapnel that indicates Ukrainian weapons caused the massacre at Bucha


Fue el ejército ucraniano quien cometió la matanza de Bucha” (It was the Ukrainian army that committed the massacre at Bucha) MPR21, 2022/04/26

Suddenly the media has been silent about the Bucha massacre. This silence is a consequence of the start of the investigation in which the French Gendarmerie has intervened and found metal darts in the corpses.

The propaganda campaign against Russia has been stopped in its tracks because Bucha’s dead have tiny metal darts from a particular type of artillery projectile, according to pathologists and forensic doctors. The first results show that it was the Ukrainian army that murdered the civilians.

“We found several really thin, nail-like objects in the bodies of men and women, as well as in other of my colleagues in the area,” said Vladyslav Pirovskyi, a Ukrainian coroner. “It is very difficult to find them in the body, they are very thin. Most of these bodies are from the Bucha-Irpin region.”

Metal darts have been widely used since 2014 by the Ukrainian army against the population of Donbass. They were among the 122-millimeter D-30 projectiles found at the positions of Ukrainian artillery abandoned by the military in the Luhansk People’s Republic.

They also found darts in the city of Slaviansk, in the Donetsk People’s Republic, after an attack by Ukrainian artillery in 2015, which was widely documented at the time*, and which the media ignored as usual.

They are rarely used in modern wars. They are a kind of shrapnel contained in tank shells or field guns. Each cartridge can contain up to 8,000 darts. Once fired, projectiles explode when a timed fuse detonates and explodes above the ground.

They are usually 3 to 4 centimeters long, come out of the shell, and are dispersed in a conical arc about 300 meters wide and 100 meters long. When impacting the victim’s body, the dart can lose its rigidity and bend like a hook, while the back of the dart, made up of four fins, usually breaks, causing a second injury.

From the first days of the war, Ukrainian artillery fired artillery fire at a Russian column on Vokzalnaya Street. The bombing destroyed several neighborhoods of the city at the same time. At the end of March, days before Russian troops withdrew from the area, they fired again, and repeated the attack as soon as the Russians left the Kiev and Chernihiv regions.

Investigations confirm that civilians died as a result of artillery fire and, as seems obvious, Ukrainian projectiles fell on Russian positions. The Russian troops deployed in Bucha did not shoot at their own positions, obviously. Therefore, civilians were killed in the shots carried out by Ukrainian troops.

Darts are in the arsenals of both Russian and Ukrainian artillery, but the Russian army has not used D-30 artillery in this war, much less the airborne forces that operated in Bucha, which lack such ammunition.

The dead were not executed at close range, but as a result of artillery fire, which rules out the characterization of the events as a “premeditated genocide of peaceful Ukrainians.” Much evidence, such as the dispersed position of the corpses, rule out the possibility of this characterization.

Evidence collected by the experts during a visit to Bucha, Hostomel and Borodianka, and reviewed by independent weapons experts, shows that cluster munitions and powerful unguided bombs were used in the area. They killed a large number of civilians and destroyed at least eight buildings. These types of weapons are prohibited in most countries of the world.

Ukraine brings the number of civilians killed in Bucha to almost 900, while the UN speaks of 50. A team of 18 experts from the forensic department of the French Gendarmerie, together with a team of forensic investigators from Kiev, is documenting the deaths after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the town.

“We see many mutilated (disfigured) bodies,” Pirovsky said. “Many of them had their hands tied behind their backs and bullets in the back of their neck. There were also cases of automatic weapons fire, such as six or eight holes in the backs of the victims. And we have several cases of parts of cluster bombs embedded in the bodies of the victims.”

According to Neil Gibson, a weapons expert from the British group Fenix Insight, who examined the photos of the darts found in Bucha, they are from a 122-mm ZSh1 artillery shell. “Another unusual and rarely seen projectile,” says Gibson. “This time it is the equivalent of the series of anti-personnel projectiles in the United States… It works like a real shrapnel projectile, but it is full of darts and a wax binding substance.”

However, there remains a disturbing question: why did some corpses appear with their hands tied?

Darts were a widely used weapon during World War I. Launched by the planes of the time to attack infantry, they were able to pass through helmets. They were not widely used during World War II.

They reappeared during the Vietnam War, when the United States used a version of the darts packaged in plastic. It is a common munition in wars in which Israel has been involved, both in Gaza and in Lebanese territory, as it is particularly effective in areas where adversaries hide among vegetation.

Several humanitarian organizations have called for a ban on darts but, to date, there have been none. However, the use of indiscriminate lethal weapons in densely populated civilian areas constitutes a violation of the laws of war. “Darts are an anti-personnel weapon designed to penetrate dense vegetation and hit a large number of enemy soldiers,” Amnesty International said. “They should never be used in residential civilian areas.”

* Photos of Slaviansk, Donetsk People’s Republic, in 2015:  https://codename-it.livejournal.com/953562.html

Further reading:

Kees Van Der Pijl, Flight MH17, Ukraine and the new Cold War: Prism of Disaster (Manchester University Press, 2018)

Excerpt from the Introduction:

From the start, the civil war had been portrayed in the West against the background of an alleged Russian intervention in Ukraine and the MH17 catastrophe was seamlessly woven into this narrative. So, when the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, solemnly stated, three days after the event, “We saw the take-off. We saw the trajectory. We saw the hit. We saw this airplane disappear from the radar screens. So there is really no mystery about where it came from and where these weapons have come from,” there was little doubt he was speaking of Russia. In fact, no evidence has been provided by the United States and NATO, or the EU following their lead, to substantiate this claim. It remains an insinuation. In Chapter 5, I review the results of the official investigations into the MH17 disaster, which Ukraine delegated to the Netherlands. Both were profoundly compromised by granting the coup government in Kiev a veto over any outcomes, a novelty in the history of aviation disaster investigation that was considered shameful even in Ukraine.

The immunity from criminal prosecution was granted on 7 August, the day Andriy Parubiy stepped down as NSDC secretary. Since NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid a lightning visit to Kiev that very day, with tanks patrolling the streets, I ask the question whether Rasmussen had come to express support for President Petro Poroshenko and the immunity was the price to ward off another coup. Eventually, the criminal investigation by a Joint Investigation Team (JIT), whose progress report was delivered in September 2016, confirmed the conclusion of the Dutch Safety Board (DSB, in Dutch, OVV), that the plane had been downed by a Buk (SA-1 1) surface-to-air missile hit. The JIT added that the Buk unit had been transported from Russia, fired a missile from rebel-held territory, and then was transported back. This had been the original scenario floated by the minister of the interior of the coup government in Kiev, Arsen Avakov, and his spokesman, Anton Gerashchenko, right after the downing, in order to inculpate Moscow…

… from the Russian angle, the MH17 disaster is only one element in a much broader picture covering the coup and the civil war, its more than ten thousand dead and more than a million refugees. Nevertheless, through the entire process Moscow, too, has adopted a strange posture that does not inspire confidence. Excluded from both investigations, it has not come up with compelling evidence exculpating itself and/or the insurgents, either. After a press conference on 21 July, at which the military challenged the accusations being made against it, the Russian authorities criticized the Dutch-led investigations mostly through private parties, notably the company that pro- duces the Buk system, Almaz-Antey. Besides reticence about exposing the true reach and capacity of its satellite and radar intelligence, the explanation for these oblique hints and last-minute revelations can only be that for Moscow there are other priorities in Ukraine and even in its relations with the West than revealing the truth about MH17— just as for the United States and NATO, which have consistently failed to back up any of their claims concerning Russian or insurgent responsibility, geopolitical considerations come first.