The alleged order was recorded by Ukraine’s SBU security service, who say they intercepted the conversation between the officer and his soldiers. It comes in the wake of numerous atrocities committed by Vladimir Putin’s forces against civilians in Russian occupied parts of Ukraine. The audio recording was posted on the SBU’s Facebook page and begins with a soldier asking his commander what he should do after reporting a car driving past and two people approaching from a small grove.
The voice yells: “F***ing kill them all!”
He adds: “What’s the problem? Civilian casualties are part of the cost of war. Understood?”
When the soldier says he understands, the commander replies: “Don’t make a problem out of nothing.”
The soldier reports that he and his comrades are being attacked from all sides by their Ukrainian opponents.
He says: “They take us from the left and from the right. They are f***ing encircling us.
“And now we are on the defensive and not on the offensive.”
Last week, the world was shocked by images of dead civilians strewn on the streets of Bucha.
The small town is located 23 miles northwest of Kyiv and had been under Russian occupation until its recent liberation.
Local officials claimed that over 300 civilians had been killed by Russian forces, including 50 who were executed.
The killings brought universal condemnation from Western leaders and have resulted in a further bout of sanctions.
The German political magazine, Der Spiegel, reported that Germany’s foreign intelligence service intercepted radio messages from Russian military sources discussing the murders in Bucha.
At least 50 people are known to have been killed in the attack, including some children.
A video posted on the Next twitter channel showed the immediate aftermath of the missile strike.
A car can be seen in flames with bodies lying on the ground, while people start to scream and panic at the station.
An 18-year-old local called Dasha described the horror that unfolded before her eyes.
She told the Daily Telegraph: “We heard the whistle of a rocket. Everything happened very quickly. Everyone started running. It was scary, there was a lot of panic.
“There were dead and wounded on the ground. It was disgusting to see.”