Germany’s foreign intelligence service told a parliamentary committee Wednesday that it has intercepted radio communications where Russian soldiers talked about shooting soldiers and civilians in Ukraine, a source with knowledge of the meeting said.
The briefing was the top item at the Wednesday meeting, the source added.
Those intelligence findings – first reported by Der Spiegel – appear to implicate Russian troops in a pattern of apparent war crimes despite denials from Moscow, most recently in the indiscriminate killing of civilians in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha.
Der Spiegel reported that the BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, intercepted Russian radio chatter about the killing of civilians in Bucha, and that some of the conversations could be tied directly to specific killings in Bucha that have been documented since news first emerged of an apparent massacre there.
German intelligence has satellite images that point to the involvement of Russian troops in the Bucha killings, the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed intelligence official, though the paper said the radio transmissions have not been linked to that location.
News of the German intelligence assessment comes amid massive international outrage over Bucha and a growing body of evidence that points to the Russian military’s involvement in the indiscriminate killing of civilians in Ukraine.
A drone video taken before March 10 has captured the moment a person riding a bicycle is gunned down on a street in Bucha by Russian soldiers. International media have broadcast extensive footage of that same street, where the bodies of at least 20 civilian men were found following the exit of Russian forces from the area.
Germany’s foreign intelligence office declined to comment, and a German government spokesperson declined to comment on the Der Spiegel reporting.
The German intercepts are not the first audio evidence that indicates Russian troops have engaged in the murder of civilians.
On Tuesday, the Security Service of Ukraine released a series of intercepted audio recordings that purport to reveal Russians receiving orders to kill civilians.
In one of the alleged intercepts, one soldier identifies what he describes as a car carrying two civilians.
“F**king kill them all, for f**k’s sake!” comes the reply.