What killed the dead in Bucha – the first conclusions of experts

The painstaking work of forensic experts with the bodies of the dead found in Bucha and Irpin continues. The first conclusions of the forensic medical examination have been published.

According to the British edition The Guardian, small metal darts, the so-called flechettes, were found in the bodies of the victims. Thus, experts state that some of the dead were killed during shelling. Forensic expert Vladislav Perovsky says:

“We found some very thin, nail-like objects in the bodies of men and women.”

The flechette is an anti-personnel weapon widely used during the First World War. At that time, newly invented aircraft flew behind enemy lines and dropped such projectiles into trenches, where they even pierced the metal helmets of soldiers and killed the enemy’s manpower.

One such projectile contains up to 8 thousand flechettes – small metal darts that look like nails. The shells are used by tanks or field guns, after being fired and exploded, the “nails” scatter over a large area, up to 300 meters wide and up to 100 meters long. The flashette can be from 2.5 to 4 centimeters long, has a sharp tip and small wings at the end.

Upon entering the body, the flechette usually breaks in two, leaving two deep, narrow wounds. According to forensic experts who examine and autopsy the bodies, debris was found in most of the victims in the skull and chest.

The use of such ammunition is not prohibited by conventions, but the use in cities is a violation of humanitarian law. Experts determined from the photo that such “darts” are used in the 122-mm ZSh-1 projectile. According to open data, this projectile is suitable for D-30, 2S1, M30 howitzers.

The team of pathologists and forensic experts consists of Ukrainian specialists and invited experts from the French gendarmerie. Mayor of Bucha Anatoly Fedoruk declared April 23, that have already exhumed 1/3 of all the bodies found in mass graves in the areas of the Kyiv region, which were occupied by Russian troops.

Russia strongly denies the commission of war crimes by the military occupying Bucha, calling the evidence and eyewitness testimony “fake”.

Reference. Fleshetta, “Arrow” – a metal arrow dart the size of a pencil; a special type of aviation weapon developed at the beginning of the 20th century and used by the air forces of the opposing sides when attacking concentrations of enemy infantry and cavalry in the battles of the First World War, during the Civil War in Russia.

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