The harrowing testimonies of the Bukha massacre survivors

At about 11:00 on March 17, Yuri Nechiborenko and his father Ruslan were riding bicycles to the administration building clamor Where the aid was delivered.

Electricity, gas and water were cut off, and the supply of essential goods was in short supply in the city, one of the first areas captured by Russian forces as they advanced into the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.

Yuri and his father were waiting to get some medicine and food. Yuri said that he and his father were arrested by a Russian soldier on Tarasivska Street. They immediately raised their hands.

Speaking to the BBC on the phone with his mother, 14-year-old Alaa, he gave his account of what happened next. “We told them we don’t carry weapons and we don’t pose any danger,” he said.

“Then my father turned his head towards me, at which point he was shot.. He was hit by two bullets in the chest, exactly where the heart is. Then he fell.”

Tragedy in Bucha

Picture of Yuri's injuries

family photo

Yuri claims that Russian soldiers shot him several times.

The young man told the BBC that the soldier shot him in the left hand and arm.

“I was lying on my stomach, I couldn’t see anything going around,” Yuri said. The soldier fired again in the head. “[Pero] The bullet penetrated the hood. “

Yuri said that the soldier shot again, this time in the head of his father. But Ruslan is already dead. He said, “I had a slight panic attack, lying there with my injured arm under me. I saw my hands were bleeding.”

This death is one of many, possibly hundreds, that were discovered in Bucha after the recent withdrawal of Russian troops from the Kyiv suburb. Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk said on Monday that at least 300 civilians had been killed. There is no official statistic yet.

Several bodies were seen along Yablonska Street, only a mile (2 km) from the street where Ruslan was killed.

A similar tragedy is that of Volodymyr Abramov, who was desperately trying to put out the fire in his house in Bucha.

Oleg can no longer help you

Irina Abramov


Irina Abramov says she wishes she had been killed, too.

Russian forces broke down the front doors of Volodymyr’s house, opened fire on the house and dragged the 72-year-old, his daughter Irina, 48, and her husband, Oleg, 40, into the yard.

Volodymyr said that the soldiers passed Oleg in front of the gate on the sidewalk, threw a grenade through the front door of the house that exploded with a deafening sound and set the house on fire.

Volodymyr grabbed a small fire extinguisher and unsuccessfully tried to put out the flames. She shouted at her daughter “Where’s Oleg? Oleg will help!”.

The ruins of Abramov's house


The Abramov family lost their home in a fire caused by a grenade.

But the answer came from one of the Russian soldiers, he said: “Oleg can’t help you anymore.”

Irina said that they found Oleg on the pavement outside the gate, and from the way he was lying down it was clear that he was forced to his knees and was shot in the head at close range.

It was a welder living a quiet life on the corner of Jablonska Street in Posha who was taken from his home and killed.

Street cemetery

Mass grave in Bucha


The BBC has not independently verified the details of Yuri’s account, but a photo of the partially covered body (taken by Alaa and shared with the BBC) appears to confirm his testimony.

The photo shows a gunshot wound to the right side of the chest, near the heart.

In similar cases, hundreds of bodies were found around Boca

Some of them tied their hands or legs behind their backs. Apparently some were run over by tanks

His wife Irina said that the Russian soldiers who killed Oleg Abramov “did not ask him anything.”

“They didn’t ask or say anything, they just killed him,” he said. “They just asked him to take his shirt off, get on his knees and shoot him.”

On Tuesday, she cried while standing on the spot where he was killed, as a black spot of blood was still visible on the street. He said that when he ran out and found his mutilated body, the four Russian soldiers who had delayed him were standing drinking water.

the end of the world’

Volodymyr Abramov in the ruins of his house in Bucha


Volodymyr Abramov says he feels “empty” after the death of his brother-in-law.

She screamed for them to shoot her, and one of them raised his rifle, then lowered it, then raised it again and lowered it, until Volodymyr pulled her into the door.

“These soldiers told us we had three minutes to leave and forced us to run in slippers,” Volodymyr said. Bucha was like the apocalypse: corpses everywhere, the streets filled with smoke.

Volodymyr and Irina had no choice but to leave Oleg’s body lying on the street and remained there for about a month while they took refuge in a relative’s house.

When it was safe to return, Volodymyr tried to bury his brother-in-law in a patch of rough ground next to the pier, and the half-dug pit was still visible there on Tuesday.

But Volodymyr, exhausted by the effort and fear of the Russian soldiers, took Oleg to the yard and left him there. Volodymyr said that later Ukrainian soldiers loaded the body into a truck, and took it away. “I have no idea how we will find him now,” he said.

Ukraine has opened a war crimes investigation into Russia’s actions in Bucha and nearby Irbin. He says that 410 bodies have been found in the two suburbs so far.

Now he fears more atrocities will be discovered as the Russians withdraw and open more suburbs: more corpses in the streets, more mass graves. Volodymyr and Irina Abramov are only looking for a body and are afraid they will never find it.

“He was just a peaceful man, a family man, a welder, who suffered a fracture of the spine and was handicapped all his life,” said Volodymyr.

Shortly before his death, while I was in the yard, I saw him briefly through the open door, on his knees, and he uttered his last words. He asked them ‘Why?’ “

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