Lifeless bodies of executed civilians lay in Bucha
The lifeless bodies of at least 20 civilian men line a single street in the town of Bucha near the Ukrainian capital. Some lie face down on the pavement while others are collapsed on their backs; mouths open in a tragic testament to the horrors of Russian occupation.
The hands of one man are tied behind his back with a piece of white cloth. Another man lies alone; tangled up in a bicycle by a grassy bank.
A third man lies in the middle of the road; near the charred remains of a burned-out car.
Accounts of alleged Russian atrocities are emerging as its forces retreat from areas near Kyiv; following a failed bid to encircle the capital.
The town of Bucha has endured five weeks of near-constant firefights. Now officials and human rights groups are blaming the civilian deaths on the departed Russian forces.
“Corpses of executed people still line the Yabluska street in Bucha. Their hands are tied behind their backs with white ‘civilian’ rags; they were shot in the back of their heads. So you can imagine what kind of lawlessness they perpetrated here,” Bucha mayor Anatoliy Fedoruk told Reuters.
The toll of the Russian invasion was apparent at a mass grave in Bucha. People cried as they attempted to locate the bodies of lost loved ones at a grave located in the grounds of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho All Saints on Sunday, according to a CNN team at the scene.
Bucha residents saidthat bodies were first buried in the grave in the first few days of the war.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said Sunday that reports emerging from towns in the Kyiv region revealed a “post-apocalyptic picture” of life under Russian occupation.
“Victims of these war crimes have already been found; including raped women who they tried to burn; local government officials killed; children killed; elderly people killed, men killed, many of them with tied hands, traces of torture and shot in the back of the head.
Robberies, attempts to take gold, valuables, carpets, washing machines.
The evidence of apparent atrocities in Bucha came as Human Rights Watch (HRW) announced it had documented allegations of war crimes in the occupied areas of the Kyiv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv regions.
HRW said Sunday that the allegations include “a case of repeated rape; two cases of summary execution, one of six men, the other of one man; and other cases of unlawful violence and threats against civilians between February 27 and March 14, 2022.”
In Bucha, Russian forces “rounded up five men and summarily executed one of them” on March 4, HRW wrote. A witness told the group that soldiers forced the men to kneel on the road and pulled their shirts over their heads, before shooting one of the men in the back of the head.
HRW also alleges that on February 27; six men were rounded up in the village of Staryi Bykiv in the Chernihiv region and later executed.
In Malaya Rohan, a village in the Kharkiv region; a Russian soldier repeatedly raped a woman in a school where she was sheltering with her family on March 13, the victim told HRW. “She said that he beat her and cut her face, neck, and hair with a knife,” HRW wrote. The woman fled to Kharkiv the following day, “where she was able to get medical treatment and other services.”
And in the village of Vorzel, 31 miles northwest of Kyiv; Russian soldiers “threw a smoke grenade into a basement; then shot a woman and a 14-year-old child as they emerged from the basement; where they had been sheltering,” HRW said.
“The cases we documented amount to unspeakable; deliberate cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians,”
Hugh Williamson, HRW’s Europe and Central Asia director; said in the statement. “Rape, murder, and other violent acts against people in the Russian forces’ custody should be investigated as war crimes.“
Sunday’s developments in Ukraine have hastened calls for war crimes investigations.
Blinken said the State Department would help document any atrocities the Russian military committed against Ukrainian civilians.
European Union Council President Charles Michel vowed further sanctions on Russia, while United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said an “independent investigation” into the civilians killed in Bucha was “essential.”
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.