The tragic events in the occupied Bucha near Kyiv have already been called Bucha massacre (#BuchaMassacre).
This name is given by analogy with Srebrenica massacre — one of the most famous and bloody events of the period of the Yugoslavia collapse in 1991—1999. It was the largest massacre in Europe since the end of World War Two, officially recognized as a genocide. The International Tribunal for Yugoslavia found that the Serb military killed 7,000–8,000 adult male Bosnian Muslims at that time.
Bucha as "black swan" of current war
Ukrainian psychologist and consultant Oleg Khomiak posted on Facebook on April 4:
- A week ago, there was an extremely unpleasant situation: in the current situation, without heavy weapons, the Ukrainian army had little chance in this war. Just a banal balance of power is not in our favor. And since people are meat in Russia, they can simply starve us out. But the West refused to give heavy weapons, it was afraid of a nuclear strike.
And I thought, since victory is inevitable, what will be the black swan (the term "black swan" is used to describe an event that was impossible to predict, but which radically changes the situation — Ed. note ) in this situation?
And this black swan is, among other things, Bucha. Real black swan. Yes, negotiations, yes, the threat of a peace agreement, but Bucha as well.
Bucha will finish off all the Kremlin’s hidden allies in Europe. And if there are heavy weapons, then Russia's military defeat is completely realistic.
And the Europeans are already not so afraid of a nuclear strike. Yes, they will not fight, but this is already a different psychological state. But nothing has changed in terms of the nuclear threat. Putin both had and still has the opportunity to strike. But the psychological and semantic map of the situation has changed, the participants are in other states.
It may seem ephemeral to some: what does psychology have to do with it, the number of guns and nuclear strikes solves everything. But thinking in such a way means not being clever, literally. Everything is decided first "in heaven", and then it manifests itself in events. Events are the materialization of an already accomplished process. The resilience of the Ukrainian army, the military-political leadership and the huge casualties among civilians turned the tide.
Russia's attack, as such, does not really break the world order, but rather corrects it. France, Germany, and Hungary, in principle, were ready for a new disposition of forces in Europe. They are only interested in making this happen as quickly as possible — in the form of a blitzkrieg.
But the victory of the Ukrainian army is a catastrophe in European space. Not only for Russia, but also for the compromisers, its shadow allies. After all, no one has a plan on how to talk to Ukraine. This is our unique chance to quickly rearrange the pieces on the chessboard. As long as there are no traditional internal games of splitting (language, who is a real patriot) and self-promotion. And the chance is unique, historical.
The founder of the Kommersant publishing house, Vladimir Yakovlev, made his statement on April 4:
World politicians’ reaction to Bucha massacre
A lot of leaders of international organizations and countries have already given an unambiguously negative assessment of the events in Bucha.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has invited former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to visit Bucha and "see what the policy of concessions to Russia has led to." At the same time, he stressed that he did not blame the West: "We do not blame anyone, except for the specific Russian military who committed this against our people. Except for those who gave them orders. But we have the right to speak of indecision. About what was the way to such Bucha, to Hostomel, to Kharkiv, and to Mariupol."
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres: "I am deeply shocked by the images of civilians killed in Bucha. It is essential that an independent investigation leads to effective accountability."
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insists that those responsible for war crimes in Ukraine be brought to justice. "We have not seen such an atrocity against civilians in Europe for decades… Therefore, I strongly welcome an investigation by the International Criminal Court."
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken: "We strongly condemn apparent atrocities by Kremlin forces in Bucha and across Ukraine. We are pursuing accountability using every tool available, documenting and sharing information to hold accountable those responsible."
President of Poland Andrzej Duda: "Pictures from Bucha disprove the belief that we have to seek a compromise at any cost. In fact, the Defenders of Ukraine need three things above all: weapons, weapons and more weapons." Duda stressed that criminals should be called criminals, held accountable and convicted.
The US government is seeking to establish responsibility for the crimes of the Russian troops in Bucha and other regions, using all available tools, the US Embassy in Ukraine said. "We cannot remain silent, the world must know what has happened, and we all must act."
President of Romania Klaus Iohannis: "The Russian invasion of Ukraine has terrible, unspeakable consequences. The images of Bucha and other towns in Ukraine must be a reminder for the whole world that we must stop this illegal aggression and that all those found responsible must pay! The international justice should prevail!
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Boris Johnson: "Russian attacks on civilians in Irpin and Bucha are further evidence that Putin and his army are committing war crimes in Ukraine. No amount of denial or disinformation from the Kremlin can hide what we all know is the truth: Putin is desperate, his invasion is failing, and Ukraine’s resolve has never been stronger."
President of France Emmanuel Macron "The images reaching us from Bucha, a liberated town near Kyiv, are unbearable. There are hundreds of cowardly murdered civilians on the streets. My condolences to the victims, my solidarity is with the Ukrainians. The Russian authorities will have to pay for these crimes."