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Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award : Santi Palacios / Revista 5W


The Bucha massacre, by Santi Palacios / Revista 5W
Finalist of the 26th edition of the Luis Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award of Médicos del Mundo.

The town of Bucha, very close to Kyiv, will go down in history as one of the symbols of the atrocities perpetrated by Russian forces in the invasion of Ukraine. As the days went by, after the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from this town, taken in the initial stages of the war, details of the executions, murders, and abuses that took place during the month-long occupation emerged.

This photo essay captures the sensations and images immediately after the departure of the Russian troops and during the days and weeks that followed, documenting a scene in which the trail of war crimes is visible. The signs of violence on the corpses, the desolation of the landscape, and the shocked faces of the survivors and their testimonies spoke of a massacre whose real dimension gradually became known.

Nearly half a thousand civilians were killed in this residential locality; some 3,500 people were trapped and suffered for a month from violence and fear, bombings, and the lack of electricity, water, and heating. The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into possible war crimes. The images in this essay capture one of the darkest chapters of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Bucha, Ukraine, April 2022.

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