Ukraine: Osadchuck says Bucha ‘most dramatic horror movie’
Olga Sukhenko, the mayor of the Ukrainian town of Motyzhyn, 30 miles west of Kyiv, was allegedly shot alongside her husband and son for refusing to comply with Russian demands, the Associated Press reported. A local resident told the news outlet that Russian troops targeted local officials in the town and murdered those who did not collaborate with them.
The whereabouts of Ms Sukhenko, her husband Igor and her son Alexander had been unknown since they were reportedly kidnapped on March 23.
Their bodies were discovered in a shallow pit on Saturday along with one other person, who is yet to be identified.
The Motyzhyn resident, who was identified only as Oleg for security purposes, said that the family were executed then thrown into the pit behind a plot of land where three houses occupied by Russian forces were situated.
Another victim was allegedly shot by Russian troops in the village and dumped down a well.
The harrowing discovery comes as more reports emerge of Vladimir Putin’s soldiers committing heinous acts on civilians across Ukraine.
Russia was accused of “genocide” on Sunday after horrifying pictures showed mass graves and executed civilians lying in the streets of the town of Bucha, near Kyiv.
At least 20 bodies of civilians, some with their hands bound, were seen strewn across a single street in the town after Russian troops retreated from areas around Ukraine’s capital.
Ukrainian officials said 410 people have been found dead in towns near Kyiv since Kremlin forces began to retreat from the region last week.
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The bodies of Olga Sukhenko are her family were discovered in a shallow grave in Motyzhyn.
A mass grave was discovered in the town of Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, after Russian troops retreated.
At least 300 were killed in Bucha alone, and 57 were discovered in one mass grave in the town. Officials have logged 50 so far as executions carried out by Russian forces.
One of the dead is said to be a 14-year-old boy.
Bucha’s mayor Anatoly Fedoruk said that 280 other bodies had been buried in mass graves elsewhere in the town.
He told AP: “All these people were shot.
“These are the consequences of Russian occupation.”
He added: “Any war has some rules of engagement for civilians. The Russians have demonstrated that they were consciously killing civilians.”
A number of the dead reportedly had their hands tied behind their backs and were shot in the head.
Bucha’s deputy mayor, Taras Shapravskyi, said 50 of the dead residents found after Russian forces withdrew from the town late last week were the victims of extrajudicial killings carried out by Russian troops.
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Motyzhyn’s mayor and her family were discovered with one other body, which is yet to be identified.
Ukrainian soldiers inspect the remains of a destroyed Russian armoured column in Bucha.
The officials have accused Moscow of war crimes.
Wladimir Klitshcko, boxing legend and brother of Kyiv mayor Vitali Klitschko, posted a Twitter video from Bucha that he said showed civilians “shot in the head with their hands tied behind their back”.
He said: “What happened here and everywhere in Ukraine, this is not a special operation, this is not military objects.
“This is civilians, they have been shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs. This is genocide of the Ukrainian population.”
Elsewhere, there have been claims that Russian soldiers have raped Ukrainian women and using children as “human shields”.
In nearby Irpin, one report claimed that Russian kill squads shot women and girls before driving over them in tanks.
Ukrainian forces said on Saturday that it had retaken all areas around Kyiv and now had complete control of the capital region for the first time since Russia invaded on February 24.
But there are reports that Russian forces have booby trapped the bodies of the dead and laid explosives in their wake as they retreated from the outskirts of Kyiv.
Images show destruction around Kyiv after five weeks of war.
Emergency services said more than 1,500 explosives had been found in one day in the recently liberated village of Dmytrivka.
Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russian troops of “genocide”.
President Zelensky told the US news channel CBS: “This is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and the people.
“We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities. This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities.
“We are the citizens of Ukraine and we don’t want to be subdued to the policy of the Russian federation and this is the reason we are being destroyed and exterminated. And this is happening in the Europe of the 21st century, so this is the torture of the whole nation.”
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has already launched a probe into possible war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine.
Human Rights Watch has said it had documented cases of “unspeakable, direct cruelty” committed by retreating Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians in occupied areas around Kyiv, Chernihiv and Kharkiv, including rape and summary executions.