Russia’s defense ministry said on Tuesday that Ukrainian special services had staged alleged killings of civilians in Ukrainian towns in an attempt to spread propaganda through the Western media.
“Soldiers of the 72nd Ukrainian Main Center for Psychological Operations conducted another staged filming of civilians allegedly killed by the violent actions of the Russian armed forces” on April 4 in a village 23 kilometers northwest of Kyiv, the ministry said.
“Similar events have now been organized by Ukrainian special services in Sumy, Konotop, and other cities.”
The ministry did not say how it obtained the information in its statement.
At the weekend, dozens of bodies were discovered in Bucha near Kyiv after the withdrawal of Russian troops. Ukrainian officials said some had their hands bound behind them.
Ukraine has blamed Russian forces, with Zelenskyy describing the killings as “war crimes” and “genocide.”
Moscow denies any responsibility, saying that the images are fake or that the deaths occurred after Russian forces pulled out of the area.
The Kremlin repeated the denial on Tuesday, adding the West wanted to “smear” the Russian army.
“We still insist that any accusations against the Russian side, against the Russian military are not just groundless,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“This is a well-directed show. Nothing else. A tragic show.”
He said Russia would continue to promote its version of events. “We won’t sit idle,” he added.