WARNING – DISTRESSING CONTENT Mayor Olha Sukhenko was reportedly kidnapped and executed before being buried with her murdered husband and son in a shallow grave in the village she lead, Motyzhyn, in Ukraine
The mayor of a Ukrainian village was shot and buried next to her husband and son in a shallow grave in further evidence of Russian war crimes, it has been claimed.
Since Russian soldiers withdrew from towns and villages around Kyiv last week, Ukrainian troops have been moving in, showing journalists corpses of what they say are civilians killed by Russian forces, destroyed houses and burnt out cars.
Reuters could not independently verify who killed the family in the grave just outside Motyzhyn, west of Kyiv.
Moscow has denied targeting civilians and has said similar reports of killings were “staged” to sully Russia’s name.
“There have been Russian occupiers here. They tortured and murdered the whole family of the village head,” said Anton Herashchenko, naming those killed as Olha Sukhenko, her husband Ihor Sukhenko and their son, Oleksandr.
Yegor Kapustynskiv/ Magnus News)
“The occupiers suspected they were collaborating with our military, giving us locations of where to target our artillery.
“These scum tortured, slaughtered and killed the whole family. They will be responsible for this.”
A Reuters reporter saw the bodies in a forest near a farm, which had been all but destroyed, just outside the village of Motyzhyn.
Nearby a burnt out tractor could be seen and one of those buried in the sand had his head taped.
The reporter also saw another body of a man in a well near to the burnt out farm, where black scorch marks climbed up its few remaining walls.
He appeared to have been tied up. Vadym Tokar, head of the Makariv village council which neighbours Motyzhyn, told Reuters the family had been taken captive by Russian forces two to three days before the troops left.
“The bodies are still lying there, we can’t get them out because there is a suspicion that they are mined,” he said by telephone.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Global outrage spread on Monday over civilian deaths in Ukraine including evidence of bound bodies shot at close range and a mass grave found in areas retaken from Russian troops, as artillery bombarded the country’s south and east.
Reuters reporters saw on Sunday several corpses by the roadside in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, one had his hands tied behind his back and a bullet wound to his head, one of hundreds of local residents that officials say have been found dead in the wake of five weeks of Russian occupation.
On Sunday, Russia’s defence ministry said in a statement all photographs and videos published by the Ukrainian authorities alleging crimes by Russian troops in Bucha were a “provocation” and no resident of Bucha suffered violence at the hands of Kremlin troops.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was seen speaking with townspeople during visits to the destroyed towns of Irpin and Bucha today.
Bucha has become the focus of war crimes accusations against both Vladimir Putin and the Russian soldiers he ordered into neighbouring Ukraine.
A group of twisted soldiers – dubbed the ‘Butchers of Bucha’ – are alleged to have raped and murdered both women and children in the town.
On entering Bucha after its liberation, journalists found horrific scenes including corpses of women and elderly people – some restrained with their arms tied behind their backs, and others with gunshot wounds in the back of the head.
But now Ukrainians in Bucha at the time of the Russian occupation have shared first-hand accounts of witnessing random passersby being shot, homes being looted, and residents being banned from leaving even during humanitarian corridor agreements.
Mum Kristina said she spent 10 days trapped in a house in Bucha in “terrible fear” the Russian soldiers stationed in her own courtyard would murder her and her three-year-old daughter.
Recalling the moment she finally got to safety among Ukrainian troops, she told the publication: “We are safe for now, but our psyche is blown, we have changed, nothing will be the same as before.
“We try to communicate normally, even joke around a bit, but when you close your eyes, you immediately see a road full of dead bodies, and how we froze with our hands raised, waiting for them to decide.”
She went on: “It’s a blessing we managed to get out. But my soul and thoughts are with Bucha and with all the hero-cities, with the people who are trapped, with the children who should not be involved in the war at all.”
Yekaterina, who said she evacuated Bucha on the second day, left her parents and sisters behind and they were held captive for four days.
She accused the Russian army of using civillians as “human shields” and of murdering innocent civillians.
She said: “My dad stood in line to be shot. They miraculously got him out, while 10 other guys were stripped naked and shot.”