Bucha – the Russian Army’s Fallujah!


The discovery of many civilian bodies lying dead in the Ukrainian city of Bucha has brought out more western rhetoric of horror, disgust, anger and fury at the Russian invasion of Ukraine and has renewed calls for more sanctions against Russia, more weapons to the Ukrainians and calls for Putin to be put on trial as a war criminal.

That’s a strong response to war and those responsible for starting a military invasion of a sovereign state.

Let’s shift the focus to Iraq in 2003 for a moment.

On the marches to protest the US, UK, Australian-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 one of the chants used was “Never forget Fallujah!”. So, for those that we too young to know or now too old to remember, here are a few well-referenced paragraphs from Wikipedia about what happened when the US invaders attacked the city as part of an invasion of another sovereign state, Iraq. 

The United States bombardment of Fallujah began in April 2003, one month after the beginning of the invasion of Iraq. In April 2003 United States forces fired on a group of demonstrators who were protesting against the US presence. US forces alleged they were fired at first, but Human Rights Watch, who visited the site of the protests, concluded that physical evidence did not corroborate US allegations and confirmed the residents’ accusations that the US forces fired indiscriminately at the crowd with no provocation. 17 people were killed and 70 were wounded In a later incident, US soldiers fired on protesters again; Fallujah’s mayor, Taha Bedaiwi al-Alwani, said that two people were killed and 14 wounded. Iraqi insurgents were able to claim the city a year later, before they were ousted by a siege and two assaults by US forces. These events caused widespread destruction and a humanitarian crisis in the city and surrounding areas. As of 2004, the city was largely ruined, with 60% of buildings damaged or destroyed, and the population at 30%–50% of pre-war levels.

At least one US battalion had orders to shoot any male of military age on the streets after dark, armed or not. In violation of the Geneva Convention, the city’s main hospital was closed by Marines, negating its use, and a US sniper was placed on top of the hospital’s water tower.

On November 13, 2004, a U.S. Marine with 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines was videotaped killing a wounded combatant in a mosque. The incident, which came under investigation, created controversy throughout the world. The man was shot at close range after he and several other wounded insurgents had previously been left behind overnight in the mosque by the U.S. Marines. The Marine shooting the man had been mildly injured by insurgents in the same mosque the day before. 

On November 16, 2004, a Red Cross official told Inter Press Service that “at least 800 civilians” had been killed in Fallujah and indicated that “they had received several reports from refugees that the military had dropped cluster bombs in Fallujah, and used a phosphorus weapon that caused severe burns.”

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On 17 May 2011, AFP reported that 21 bodies, in black body-bags marked with letters and numbers in Roman script had been recovered from a mass grave in al-Maadhidi cemetery in the centre of the city. Fallujah police chief Brigadier General Mahmud al-Essawi said that they had been blindfolded, their legs had been tied and they had suffered gunshot wounds. The Mayor, Adnan Husseini said that the manner of their killing, as well as the body bags, indicated that US forces had been responsible. Both al-Essawi and Husseini agreed that the dead had been killed in 2004. The US Military declined to comment.

There were no sanctions against the US, UK and Australia, there were no US soldiers, military leaders or politicians held to account. There were no arms sent to help the Iraqis facing overwhelming odds in their fight against the US and its allies. There were no moves to charge George Bush (US President), Tony Blair (UK Prime Minister) or John Howard (Australian Prime Minister) for war crimes before the International Criminal Court.

Yes Vladimir Putin should be on trial at the International Criminal Court but before he appears we should have seen George Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard face the same charges first.

We should never forget Bucha – but we must never forget Fallujah either. The people of both cities deserve justice at the ICC. Let’s do all we can to hold them to account.  

Incidentally US President Joe Biden was pushing hard for the invasion of Iraq back in 2003. His hypocrisy now in condemning Putin is the stuff of legends.


  1. The discovery of bodies….. John, you have had enough dealings with the Police and authorities over the years. Without evidence, facts, independent corroboration can you confidently state what exactly happened? In a time of highly charged emotions and partisan propaganda do you think it right to jump to conclusions? Or perhaps to draw breath and gather hard evidence?

      • From numerous sources.

        I can be a source. And it equals the others sources?

        “Russian missiles and tanks are involved in a Russian action to drive nazism out of Ukraine. A few buildings have been accidentally hit. There may be civilian causalities but if there are it was accidental. They certainly have not been verified.”

        I’m sure my independent corroboration will help clear up any misunderstandings about what is happening.

    • It’s sort of worse than that even. The Mayor of Bucha Tweeted that Russians had completely vacated the city on March 30. So apparently it took 5 days for them to find any bodies at all. Add to that that mobile phone services were all working and despite that there is no video evidence is highly suspect. Add to that, all the bodies are conveniently wrapped in black plastic so no one can verify identifies, genders, ages etc. Add to that, the US military themselves have issued a statement that the authenticity of the event “cannot be verified”. Those bodies could be from the morgue for all we know. To my cynical eye (I remember Syria) it looks to me like a relatively poorly set up propaganda campaign by Ukraine, but hopefully actual verifiable facts eventually come out one way or another. Beware the fog of war!

  2. If you don’t understand the demographics in Ukraine, or its history , you can easily have a very simplistic infantilised view of the war.
    Although the main Russian speaking population is in the Donbas, Mariupol,Donetsk, Luhansk etc , there are Russian speakers and Russian sympathisers all through Ukraine .
    They are actively being rooted out
    Take Bucha
    “In the liberated city of Bucha, Kyiv region, special units of the National Police of Ukraine began clearing the area of ​​saboteurs and accomplices of Russian troops.

    This was reported on Facebook by the National Police of Ukraine.”
    What does that actually mean?
    Some reports refer to “cleansing” of the area.
    And if you have the stomach to look at the photos , you will see that many of the victims, particularly the ones with hands tied, are wearing white armbands.This signifies a civilian is not hostile to the Russian military
    (The Ukrainian version is blue)
    Why would the Russians shoot those who are demonstrating their non hostility.
    On the other hand, these victims are a warning to all those who might harbour Russian sympathies
    Double bonus if you can create an atrocity propaganda coup that ramps up hatred to the Russians and immediately brings in more military aid, and hopefully Nato and WW3
    For fuck sake people, recognise that we are in an all out propaganda war and the Russians are useless at it .
    Ukraine has the whole of the western media on its side to help us blank out Ukraine’s atrocities over the last 8 years, Zelensky’s immense corruption , and the fanaticism of the lunatic far right embedded throughout the Ukrainian army.

    • “If you don’t understand the demographics in Ukraine, or its history , you can easily have a very simplistic infantilised view of the war.” Very well put Francesca.

      I hope John and others (like the Prime Minister) are capable of admitting their errors.

      • Bridge: “This has got to be pure Russian propaganda”

        No. It doesn’t. It’s already been established that Russia doesn’t “do” propaganda. In that regard, we all know which polities have propaganda down to a fine art.

      • The one thing that sticks out a mile in nearly every “debate” regarding Ukraine, is the utterly vacuous logic (yes, an oxymoron) being displayed by people who should stick to their knitting, and leave the real discussion to the adults.. All the information that shows this to be irrevocably a Western propaganda attack on a level with the filth that the Brits, Americans, and their allies in Europe spewed over their populations before WW1… How easy was it to get the flock ramped up with the same facile rubbish this time? By the look of what I’m seeing on this, and other comment sections, really bloody easy…

    • The language of demonisation is the language of hate to justify war – embedded thorughout the Ukraine military are the lunatic far right.

      • OK SPC
        The extremist ideology of Banderism and the far right is a perfectly sensible stance, and ethnic cleansing is a valid political option .Attacking Roma , killing them and destroying their camps is pretty mainstream and nothing to worry about .We should have more of the Azov childrens summer camps, they are wholesome and educative

        • Francesca: “Attacking Roma , killing them and destroying their camps is pretty mainstream and nothing to worry about”

          Yup. I’ve seen cellphone footage, posted online by the Azov types, showing the burning of Roma camps near Kiev, along with the persecution of the Roma themselves.

          • hey cut azov some slack they’re just honouring the ukrainian nazi cultural traditions

            as a sidebar many many ukrainians fought in the red army to the gates of berlin to piss on adolfs charred corpse, so nazis then and neo-nazis now are a faction not a whole people

        • Continuation of demonisation of Ukraine over its past to justify war against it 80 years later. Should Russia attack Germany and cite the betrayal of the 1939 agreement.

    • Francesca: “…we are in an all out propaganda war and the Russians are useless at it.”

      Exactly. Which tells the rest of us that Russia doesn’t use propaganda. It gives its account and assumes that readers have the intelligence to understand it.

      A younger family member observed that the former USSR’s propaganda machine was weakened by the time of its collapse. And that machine wasn’t resurrected during the 90s. Thus the contemporary government has no facility for this sort of thing. Of course they’d be pants at it

      Readers doubtless won’t be aware of the awful things which have happened in the Ukraine since Yanukovych’s overthrow in that US-sponsored putsch in 2013-14. The current fascist regime is violent: many crimes have been committed against citizens, but in this comment, I’ll focus on language issues.

      Here’s a partial account of the situation regarding the languages of the Ukraine:

      I’ll post part 2 separately, since it comes as text rather than a link.

      If this ethno-nationalism regarding the Ukrainian language has a ring of familiarity to it for readers, that’s because something similar – though not quite as extreme – is being tried here with the Maori language. This despite the fact that – unlike with the Ukrainian dialect – Maori is spoken by a tiny proportion only of the population. And there are either no native speakers left, or too few to provide the critical mass needed for language revival.

      I’d add that, with regard to this military operation, it’s legal under the terms of the UN charter. And it’s most emphatically justified.

      This is Russia and Putin we’re talking about here: there isn’t the slightest chance it would have embarked on this operation, without making sure that all of its legal ducks were in a row.

      It’s the US and the UK (and NATO) which have Form for blundering into conflicts without a mandate.

      • Quite agree D’Esterre. Just one point, the US doesn’t blunder into these conflicts, they plan them well in advance (then ,luckily, they blunder them!) The thing they do best is propaganda and media control, just look how much is being done right now ( piling it on because they are losing and desperate). False flag chemical attack next There are many nasty buggers in the Ukraine who have been trained up especially for this war.

        • garibaldi: “…the US doesn’t blunder into these conflicts, they plan them well in advance…”

          Yes indeed. You’re quite correct. I was perhaps being too generous to the US in suggesting that it just lacks the intelligence (of both sorts) to think through the implications of starting the conflicts in which it has notoriously been involved, particularly in the ME, and elsewhere of course.

          But it has certainly turned the military cock-up into an art form over many years. Millions of people have died or been displaced as a consequence.

      • I have no feelings about the Moari language other than my compete ineptitude in it’s pronunciation…what I do have experience of is the welsh language revival, dual language signage, welsh tv with english subtitles (pobol y cwm was an ironic hit) not the long skreeds of untranslated verbiage our media are addicted to….I don’t think many english people learnt welsh or that fluent welsh speakers are plentiful BUT most welsh at least know some of their language…ultimately that language is now far healthier than it was…to the point that dual language dramas like hinterland have an international market probably due to peoples increased acceptance of subtitled drama but hey ho…if you can’t get maori youngsters to learn it it’s goneburgers

    • “Ukraine has the whole of the western media on its side to help us blank out Ukraine’s atrocities over the last 8 years, Zelensky’s immense corruption , and the fanaticism of the lunatic far right embedded throughout the Ukrainian army.”

      Ukraine atrocities, Zelensky’s immense corruption – this you know, despite the western media being on the wrong side and Putins’ Russia not being good at propaganda.

      • SPC: “Ukraine atrocities, Zelensky’s immense corruption – this you know, despite the western media being on the wrong side and Putins’ Russia not being good at propaganda.”

        You understand that this stuff isn’t propaganda, don’t you? We’ve already established that Russia doesn’t “do” propaganda. If that government reports events, it’ll be telling you what actually happened, not some narrative designed to cast another polity in a bad light.

        It isn’t clear to me why younger people in particular still cleave to the “Russia-bad” myth. My generation and older could be forgiven for uncritically accepting western propaganda as fact (including all that cold war nonsense). That was all the news to which we had access. But younger people have no excuse for it, with the internet making dissenting views so accessible now.

        It surely helps to be able to read Russian, but it isn’t essential. There are plenty of commentators and independent journos who write about it in English: that’s how I know about it. Though my knowledge has been supplemented by Russian-language reportage, kindly translated for me by a family member.

        Early on, the awful events in the Donbass, along with the atrocity in Odessa in 2014, were actually reported by Western news outlets, but, with regard to the Donbass, the reportage stopped. It’s not that westerners didn’t know about it – or about the awful language laws (see my links posted to Francesca) – but these things just weren’t reported, at least not in the outlets which supply news to NZ.

  3. I think there needs to be accountability but are the atrocities in Bucha part of an actual campaign (then the buck could stop with Putin?) or troops going off the deep end? I guess the west are trying to paint it as an actual endorsed approach. Does it make sense for Putin to do this? I don’t know.

    At the end of the day this is why war needs to be avoided at all cost. Look at Iraq. A good number of those US troops had joined the army as they have essentially run out of options in civilian life. These young men are put in situations where they watch their fellow soldiers die, and sometimes have dismembered corpses paraded through the streets. Then it becomes about revenge pure and simple and the supposed reasons for being there are irrelevant. That’s not said in defense of them, but if poverty and no hope can lead to theft and violence in civilian settings it sure as has hell won’t lead to good outcomes when you put these young people in theatres of war

  4. The Wests ‘Gobbels’ ministry of propaganda and public enlightenment news influencers have been waiting for a piece of ‘news’ like this.

    All I can say is, WMD’s!

    The little girl crying in front of the US congress about babies being killed at a hospital in Kuwait! Lies!

    The US under Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland encouraged a coup in the Ukraine at maidan and supplied the Azov battalion with weapons to shoot and kill protesters!
    Then they took the bodies to Odessa and burned them!

    This has the Nazi Azov Battalions’ fingerprints all over it.

    • Who told you that the Azov Battalions Nazi, that it was trapped in the East, and is now manuafacturing evidence in Kiev?

      • Victoria Nulan in 2014. The US Under Secretary of State.Maidan. She, the US provided Azov with funding and weapons in that coup de tat.

        Like every regime change around the world since 1945. The US has been the main protagonist.

        This proxy war is no different.

  5. @ JM. Fantastic Post.
    This might interest you. And I’m compelled to draw attention to this where ever I can;
    Russell Brand. I know, he’s a flamboyant raconteur who wears eye challenging cardigans ( Thank Christ he doesn’t dress like off-duty bowling Club members. ) but he’s very well researched and has a great woodshed. And 5.3 million subscribers and growing.
    The most enthusiastic people behind the slaughter of others in Ukraine by brain washed Russian soldiers are the banks and money lenders.
    If I was a God botherer I’d say this news show cases the very embodiment of evil.
    It’s 15 minutes long. Give it a go.
    Russell Brand.
    “We know what our governments are telling us about solidarity with Ukraine. But apart from increased weapons supplies, what does this really mean?”

  6. There is plenty of footage on social media showing Ukrainian soldiers executing captured Russian troops yet where is the outrage over that?

    Make no mistake: war is ugly and brutal but the west are simply bombarding us with anti Russian propaganda while abrushing Ukrainian war crimes under the carpet,

    who knows where the truth lies but one thing I know for sure is that there are no good guys here

  7. A little too quick to scream blue murder, fake news. The western media is nothing but a globalist propaganda machine & that little turd Zelensky is using it masterfully.

  8. Apologists are the food of the devil. 95% of the horrors we see are genuine. The arrogant traffic warden flat earthers amongst us use this as an excuse to free Putin of all atrocities. Go Fuck yourself apologists.

    • ex and you come to that figure how? oh you just ‘feel’ that’s the figure….is that it you feel something
      go fuck yourself apologist

  9. Like the Alleged atrocities committed by Basha Al Asaad in Syria, here again the all too convenient “evidence” supporting the MSM narrative, with alternative reporting blocked, and people swallow it. How long will it be before the “white helmets” pop up? And then we have the US calling for the charges against Russia to be heard by the International Criminal Court, a body which the US itself refuses to recognize, claiming it has no jurisdiction, legitimacy or authority. And all the while the MSM continues to ignore the atrocities being committed in our name, wherever the US has an interest,

    • So, 500,000 dead civilians in Syria, many from barrel bombs, chemical weapons etc is just a myth, is it? Not even a red under the bed…blatantly standing in the open denying the truth.

  10. indeed sorting out whether they were ukrainians shot by russian soldiers or ‘subversives’ shot by the ukrainian police/militia is a moot point….interesting though that certain people are opposing independant investigation….
    iraqis throw premmy babies out of incubators and steal them anyone?

    short story, I dunno and neither does any of our other TDB ‘expert military analysts’

    • and if anyone digs up an order by even a low level commander saying ‘kill them all’ they should get exactly the same sentences western war criminals get…..ohhhh that’s right.

  11. Minto…The vilest depravities are being visited on Ukraine NOW! Genocide NOW! War Crimes NOW!
    Fuck your whataboutism.

    • So you seem to think the previous things don’t matter and that Putin is a war criminal and the others, that is sheer hypocrisy. it is important for these things to be pointed out, complete support for the West but oh that dirty Russian state and its oligarch.

  12. Ukraine alt-right extremists are killing pro Russia civilians in Bucha. The Russians moved east 3 days prior,
    in moves the Ukraine army and guess what happens. Then blame Russia.

  13. Ukraine alt-right extremists are killing pro Russia civilians in Bucha. The Russians moved east 3 days prior.
    In moves the Ukraine Azov Nazis, and guess what happens. Then blame Russia.

  14. “Yes Vladimir Putin should be on trial at the International Criminal Court…”

    No. He should not. The Bucha situation is a false flag. It has all the hallmarks of what was tried in Syria all those years ago. And elsewhere, of course. That sort of butchery isn’t Russia’s style. We’ve seen this from Syria and other small-scale interventions.

    You wish to make that sort of accusation? Point the finger at the US – as you do – and at UK and NATO. We’ve seen this for ourselves.

    • D’Esterre good to see another voice of reality. The CIA is doing a thorough job of carpet bombing the news.
      The real situation is not easy to find on the internet and impossible on TV. This is very bad and warrants this whole situation being exposed.

  15. The Bucha bullshit story is just another Fake & staged Ukrainian provocation! The attempts by the UK to block Russian Security Council requests not once but twice, to get this investigated by a Independent UN Team tells you everything you need to know, why would you block this if you wanted to find out the truth? The bodies are real but the Russians didn’t commit this atrocity, this mass murder was done by the Azoz Ukrainian Neo Nazi’s who massacred citizens who they thought collaborated with the Russian soldiers who withdrew! Just like the bullshit Ghost of Kiev story & the Snake Island fantasy story & the staged attempts at a Chemical & Nuclear attack to be blamed on Russia, one side is lying & using fake, staged propaganda & its not the Russians!

  16. I’m very glad that I’m not the only one harbouring doubts about the coverage we are getting about the Ukraine War from our NZ MSM.

  17. ” Incidentally US President Joe Biden was pushing hard for the invasion of Iraq back in 2003. His hypocrisy now in condemning Putin is the stuff of legends ”

    The yanks are the last county on earth who should be commenting on the Russian invasion given NATO’s expansion onto Russia’s border. Different story when it was Cuba and Fidel in 1959 and then Nikita’s push to directly challenge the Americans incursion into Turkey to directly provoke the USSR.

    The American’s and their I will invade when it serves our interests in 1991 and 2003 namely oil and the spread of ” democratic capitalist neo liberal policies which we all know means freedom for the corporate greed and control of another countries resources ”

    The holocaust of Palestine continues.

  18. The Putin sympathisers and the conspiratorial thinking on this page is really really appalling, particularly when Putin has continually demonstrated the use of blatant double speak, silencing his critics by poisoning them or assassinating them, brutally suppressing peaceful demonstrations and manufacturing fake news from the get go. Imagine if the same kind of brutality happened to your own home town, to your own family and friends. NATO and the US has fucked up in the past and may continue to fuck up in the future. It does not justify Russia’s attack on a sovereign nation.

    • Julian: speaking of fake news and conspiracy thinking, your comment neatly exemplifies the comprehensive propagandisation to which we in the west have been subjected for all of my considerable life.

      “…Putin sympathisers…”

      This is an epithet, not a considered argument. You might as well have called us all “Putin fanboys”. It wouldn’t be the first time, in my case.

      Consider this: the fact that there are so many dissenting voices on this comment thread provides an indication that the propaganda is increasingly failing to be effective.

      People see and read the news, then read countervailing perspectives on the internet. And when said countervailing perspectives are backed up by evidence – remember Wikileaks? – it dawns on many of us that we were lied to. This leads inevitably to scepticism about every other narrative being pushed by the US/UK in particular. That cold war nonsense, which haunted us from the 1950s onward: read this to understand its provenance:
      “The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government” a book by David Talbot.

      Do you not recall the invasion of Afghanistan? The invasion of Iraq? The bombing of Libya? The tragedy of Serbia in the late 90s? All of them tragedies, actually, for which some western leaders ought to have faced trial for war crimes. But did not, regrettably. Still and all, there’s a special place in Hell reserved for Blair, G W Bush, Clinton and Obama.

      I advise you to read. Start with David Talbot, but there is much else. Online, try the US site Consortium news, set up by the late great Robert Parry. Or MoonofAlabama, also a US site. And The Saker (another US site). There are many others.

  19. Wow.
    Conspiracy theories alive and well on the left from the comments section.

    Just ask yourselves this: did you react the same way to the first news of alleged atrocities by Americans in Iraq? Complete disbelief?
    Why not?

    One act of barbarity does not forgive another.
    This piece would have done better discussing the ins and outs of the current alleged atrocity to better inform the situation instead of whataboutism that simply seeks to weaken any case that might be brought because the Americans aren’t innocent. (The war is in Ukraine BTW it’s not being fought by the USA).

    • indeed matron whataboutism doesn’t help(but it can illustrate parallels that may or may not be applicable) but when OUR (forget putins media for a minute) OUR media has a long track record of lies and uncritical regurgitation of US press releases…why exactly should we blindy accept anything they say..we accept outlets like RT have an ‘agenda’ well so do ours and a commitment to verified facts isn’t part of that agenda….sorry the world is big complex and in shades of grey…if you want black hats and white hats download an old john wayne movie.

  20. Kcco: “Conspiracy theories…”

    Please tell us which are the conspiracy theories?

    “…first news of alleged atrocities by Americans in Iraq? Complete disbelief?
    Why not?”

    When you’ve been alive as long as I have, you’ve seen it all before. No, it didn’t come as a surprise: the US military had pre-existing Form for that sort of behaviour, unfortunately.

    “…instead of whataboutism….”

    I agree with this. There’s no need to adduce US and UK behaviour in particular, in this story. It ought to be solely about the Ukraine. That said, the Bucha story has all the hallmarks of a false flag narrative. We have seen all of this sort of thing many times before. And the reaction of Western powers lends support to it being a false flag. People were expecting a chemical attack to be the false flag. That may still come, of course. That’s what happened in Syria, as you no doubt recall.

    • Julian, that’s a German news site: they would say that, wouldn’t they. I have seen Ukrainian army video footage of their forces entering Bucha after the withdrawal of Russian troops. Aside from one corpse in military uniform, there were no bodies anywhere. That includes in destroyed cars and the like on the roads.

      I have since seen cellphone footage of bodies – civilians – in the street. Each of those bodies had a white armband, which signifies a Russian supporter, as doubtless you’re aware.

      There was a notable lack of blood having pooled around those bodies. Which suggests that they’d been killed elsewhere and then moved. There may have been some actors among them, but from what the footage showed, they looked to be dead.

      So: the event may well have been staged, but it doesn’t follow that people hadn’t been shot. The question is: who shot them? The Azov battalion has Form for doing that sort of thing. They crow about it, post video footage online to confirm it.

      Absent evidence to the contrary, this looks like a false flag incident. It has all the hallmarks.

  21. The Russian rocket that murdered the 54 Ukrainians in the train station had written on it “For The Children”. Savages.


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