The Sad Reality of Bucha, Ukraine

As Media Coverage of the Crisis in Ukraine Trickles Off, Ukrainians Still Need Support for their Cause

The+aftermath+of+the+massacre+in+Bucha%2C+Ukraine.+Photo+courtesy+of+Wikimedia+Commons.+

Photo By Wikimedia Commons

The aftermath of the massacre in Bucha, Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Recently, many have felt the effects of the current and ongoing Ukrainian war to an even greater extent than those in the United States have let themselves imagine. There have been claims on several accounts that war atrocities are being committed by Russia, without the appropriate legal consequences. Additionally, the Human Rights Watch has already begun to document several incidents that have transpired. Citing occurrences such as unlawful violence, threats against civilians, looting, and multiple domestic crimes. Although, the most damning event against Russia has been the recent violence in Bucha, Ukraine. 

Bucha, a once peaceful Kyiv suburb, has been the grounds for the mass slaughter of civilians of all ages. These atrocities have been highlighted in news coverage and several witness accounts, reports of Russian soldiers breaking into civilian homes and committing various crimes throughout the area. It is said by Ukrainian officials that 410 bodies were found in the surrounding Bucha area. Some showed evidence of torture along with bound hands and legs, and close-range execution-style gunshot wounds. Locals have also claimed that Russian troops were burning bodies to rid of the evidence of these crimes,  meaning the lives lost could be a far greater number. In addition to this, several journalists have alleged to see the scattered bodies of 21 people in multiple locations around Bucha. One unnamed citizen even reported witnessing troops taking people out of basements to search for anti-Russian media and subsequently shooting them after the search. 

Despite the fact that many have rightly asserted that the crimes taking place are acts of genocide, many are hesitant to associate it with that word. The United Nations cites the definition of crimes considered to be genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.”  These acts are classified as killing, causing serious bodily harm and mental harm, imposing measures to prevent birth, forcibly transferring children, and deliberately inflicting conditions of life. I myself am Eastern European, and I believe that the crimes being committed are harrowing and grisly in nature. With this and all the evidence considered, I unequivocally believe that the genocide of Ukrainians is taking place at Russia’s hand.  

Though my explanation is simple, and the reality it is a little more complicated to officially cite something as a genocide. I believe horrible crimes that would be classified as genocide are being committed. At this moment in time, you and I are able to have lives comfortable enough to complain about the mundane, such as having to go to work or school. There are so many teenagers out there having to agonize about things much larger than our trivial complaints. As I write this, people our age and even younger are being displaced, murdered, and traumatized beyond what most of us can even comprehend. There are children losing parents, parents losing children, and a country losing faith in our world.

When discussing the events of Bucha with my family and friends, not one person knew what I was talking about despite the fact that there is already some coverage of the story. My fear for my fellow eastern European people is that nothing will be done. That once the media and news consumers get tired or bored of seeing this ongoing destruction, the public will forget of this plight and let it fade. Reduce this tragedy to a simple war that happened overseas. Even now, I see a reduction in the news about Ukraine. It reminds me of my father, and how he vividly recalls the Yugoslavian war and the horrific events of the Srebrenica genocide. Something he will never forget, yet in my history books diminish it into a paragraph like it’s nothing. When I meet a Ukrainian, or Ukrainian-American in my day today, I tell them “Slava Ukraini” (glory be to Ukraine), but it feels like a double-edged sword. Not enough is being done, and simple expressions of support are not nearly enough to soothe the irreparable damage to their beloved country and home. 

What’s happening in Bucha goes to show the gravity of the situation at hand. The fact that Russia has not currently been reprimanded makes me afraid that this is just them testing the waters of what will and will not be punished. It is my hope that the trusted leaders of many countries, America included, will band with the UN to hopefully reach a resolution regarding the war atrocities being committed. To finally provide support to the countless innocent Ukrainian lives that are still being affected.