- Ukrainians welcome their army with undisguised joy – after six months of occupation, the inhabitants of liberated towns can feel freedom. They remember the Russian occupation as a nightmare
- People describe how they had to bury neighbors’ bodies. The Russians did not give the reasons for the execution. The bodies were abandoned to rot, sometimes in pieces
- – According to our information, we have war crimes in each of the liberated villages – says the chief of police in the Kharkiv region
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Natalia from the village of Nowowiejska in the south of the Kherson Oblast describes in an interview with the BBC that the Russians stole what they did not destroy. The invaders appeared there on March 29 and occupied the area until September 2. – When our troops arrived, we were in the basement. They spoke Ukrainian, I realized they were ours. I did not know what to do. I was so happy – recalls.
The rest of the article below the video:
When the counteroffensive of the Ukrainian forces started, the Russian army fled in panic, leaving several strategic positions. Social media circulates photos of damaged and abandoned places.
The change in Russian behavior is also to be seen in Kherson – the first major Ukrainian city to be occupied by the Russians. – If the street fights start, it will be very bloody. If necessary, I will sit in the basement for several weeks. I want to see our army and thank them for fighting – an anonymous woman from Chersonia tells the BBC.
“I still can’t believe they’ve gone away”
When the Ukrainian army appeared in the village of Zaliznyczne in Zaporizhia Oblast, it asked the inhabitants where the Russians lived and where they hid armored vehicles. People were shocked at the rate at which the grounds were liberated.
– I used to be healthy, now I have heart problems. My wife has diabetes. We had no drugs. I still do not believe that they are gone and that this period is behind us – says 83-year-old Vasyl in an interview with Sky News. The Ukrainian military has reported more war crimes. The lands liberated in September were under Russian occupation for almost half a year.
Those who document these cases remember the mass murders carried out by the Russians on the outskirts of Kiev, including in Bucza. Now they discover new tragedies. – Based on our information, we have war crimes in each of the liberated villages – says Serhiy Bolvinov, chief of police in the Kharkiv region.
She had to bury the neighbors
Maria Hryhohora from the village of Zaliznyczne found her neighbors shot dead in the first days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Ukrainian services could not respond to her report because the Russians had already mastered this piece of land. The 63-year-old was ordered to bury the bodies, and the Ukrainians made a note of the place to be later examined for war crimes committed.
– Their heads are here and their feet are here – she showed the Ukrainian services who arrived there. As reported in The Wall Street Journal, Ukrainian security services dug up the bodies and Hryhohora told them how she found two men lying on the floor of their house in a pool of blood. – It was scary, very scary – she described. Why they died, he doesn’t know. The 63-year-old also showed the house in which she lived during the occupation – the windows boarded up, the front door was destroyed by the debris after the explosion. From April she had to live without electricity. Afraid of that Russians they will come back in winter.
Rotting flesh. The Russians murdered for no reason
The bodies of some of the Ukrainians killed in the village of Zaliznyczne were abandoned. One of the bodyguards was killed by the Russians in the first days of the war. His body was rotting on the high platform. The services were unable to establish why he was killed. They went up the stairs to pull down the body, one of them vomited, he couldn’t stand the stench.
The body landed in the bag, and the services went to collect another body, which was in a makeshift grave just behind one of the houses. The burial place was shown to the policemen by the brother of one of the murdered. Vasyl Boronov, 55, also did not know why the Russians killed his brother.
Residents say that many of the missing have still not been found.
Sources: BBC, Sky News, “The Wall Street Journal”