In his first public comments on the massacre since Russian troops withdrew from the Kyiv suburb a little over a week ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday said the reports of Russian war crimes and the gruesome images out of Bucha were "fake," Bloomberg reports.
Putin's comments came alongside an update on Russian and Ukrainian peace talks, which he claims are at a "dead end."
On Tuesday, Putin compared the killings to "U.S. attacks on cities like Raqqa in Syria," Bloomberg writes.
"Have you seen how this Syrian city was turned to rubble by American aircraft? Corpses lay in the ruins for months decomposing," Putin said, per Reuters. "Nobody cared. No one even noticed."
"There was no such silence when provocations were staged in Syria, when they portrayed the use of chemical weapons by the Assad government," he continued. "Then it turned out that it was fake. It's the same kind of fake in Bucha."
A Ukrainian official later countered that, although peace negotiations had been "very hard," they were, in fact, continuing, per CNBC. Kyiv blames Russia for any standstill.
Putin said that without a concrete deal in place, Russia's "military operation will continue until its final completion and the tasks that were set at the start of the operation are achieved," per Bloomberg.
The Russian president also lauded his country's economy for shouldering what he called the West's "blitzkrieg" of sanctions, and said he hoped "good sense" would eventually move Western leaders to curb the measures, according to Bloomberg.
The invasion of Ukraine is going "according to plan," he added.