Images of dead civilians on the streets of Bucha, Ukraine — some with their hands tied behind their backs and gunshot wounds to the head — have been circulating the internet this weekend, prompting a response from Russia’s Ministry of Defense, which claimed the bodies were staged by Ukrainians in order to falsely accuse Russia of war crimes.
But according to a review of videos and satellite imagery by The New York Times, many of the civilians were killed more than three weeks ago, when Russia’s military was in control of the town.
"To confirm when the bodies appeared, and when the civilians were likely killed, the Visual Investigations team at The Times conducted a before-and-after analysis of satellite imagery," The Times reports. "The images show dark objects of similar size to a human body appearing on Yablonska Street between March 9 and March 11. The objects appear in the precise positions in which the bodies were found after Ukrainian forces reclaimed Bucha, as the footage from April 2 shows. Further analysis shows that the objects remained in those position for over three weeks."
The way the victims died remains unclear. As The Times points out, some of the dead were beside what looked to be an impact crater from a missile or bomb. Some had their hands bound behind their backs with white cloth. The bodies were scattered over more than half a mile, according to The Times.
Read the full report over at The New York Times.