Pentagon can’t ‘independently’ confirm images out of Ukraine’s Bucha: US official

The US believes Russian forces have repositioned about “two-thirds of its forces from around Kyiv.”

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The Pentagon said Monday that it could not “independently and single-handedly” verify the atrocities carried out by Russia against civilians in Ukraine’s Bucha but called the accounts “disgusting.”

“The Pentagon can’t independently and single-handedly confirm that, but we’re also not in any position to refute those claims,” a senior US defense official told reporters.

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official called the atrocities “clearly, deeply, deeply troubling.”

“We certainly believe that that warrants further investigation. It’s sickening; it’s disgusting. And, and we certainly believe... that should be added to the allegations of war crimes and investigated,” the official added.

While Russia has denied these accusations, images shared over the weekend showed corpses of civilians thrown around the streets of Bucha. Russia withdrew from the town after controlling it since it first invaded Ukraine last month.

Russian forces withdrawing from around Kyiv

The same official also said that the US believed Russian forces were repositioning about “two-thirds of its forces from around Kyiv.” Those withdrawing are “consolidating’ in Belarus, the official said.

Last week, the Pentagon assessed that Russia was turning its focus to the Donbas after failing to capture Kyiv and overthrow the Ukrainian government.

On Monday, the senior defense official reiterated the belief that the forces repositioning from around Kyiv were likely to head to the east of Ukraine.

"We still assess that the vast, vast majority of the more than 125 battalion tactical groups that the Russians invested in this invasion are still in Ukraine," the official said.

Read more: Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy visits Bucha where dozens of corpses were found

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