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Ukraine war: Bodies left to rot as people bury neighbours – life in a liberated village after Russians retreat | World News


The Russian army suddenly screamed and ran around, one resident said, before plunging into their tanks and fleeing the tiny village in eastern Ukraine.

The chaotic scene in Zaliznychne came a day before a small group of Ukrainian troops appeared.

Dmytro Hrushchenko, 43, standing on a dusty street with a neighbor, said wearily: “They asked me where the Russians lived and where they hid their armored vehicles.

“I go out and show them: there, there and on the street over there,” he said, pointing to the right, to the left, and in front of him.

Testimony provides a rare sense of what was going on, largely out of sight, through dozens of towns, villages and even cities in the Kharkiv region, as a The bold attack of the Ukrainian army recaptures the territories out of Russian control in a flash attack.

In Zaliznychne, a poor rural village surrounded by fields and railroad tracks, residents were stunned.

The significance of what had happened just three days earlier was still deeply embedded in it.

Six months of hell

Speaking on Sunday, Mr. Vasyl, 83, said he had lived through the Second World War and then more than six months of hell at the hands of the Russians.

“It’s like hard labor,” he said, leaning against the rusted bicycle, which rattled as it moved because of the colorful beads on the spokes.

Vasyl said he lived through six months of hell
Picture:
Vasyl said he lived through six months of hell

“I was healthy before but now I have heart problems. My wife is disabled, she has diabetes. We don’t have any medicine… I still can’t believe they’re gone and we I have escaped death.” “

Russia’s withdrawal has allowed Ukrainian police teams to move to newly liberated areas to investigate a large number of suspected war criminals by the Russian military.

Officers recall scenes of murder, torture and rape found after Russian forces were beaten back from the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, in March. That was after only a month of occupation. Large parts of the Kharkiv region were under Russian control for six times as long.

Serhii Bolvinov, police chief of Kharkiv region told Sky News: “According to our information, in almost every village we have war crimes, standing outside a house in Zaliznychne has become a reality. case school.

“We are examining the places where they have been reported and will investigate all of them.”

Woman forced to bury her neighbor alive

His group marked a safe path through overgrown grass to the front gate of the dilapidated compound, in case there was a possibility of Russian mines or trains.

Maria found her two neighbors, shot dead
Picture:
Maria found her two neighbors, shot dead

With careful scrutiny, investigators and two gravediggers entered a walled garden surrounding the adjoining house.

A woman who still lives there points to a disturbed patch of land where the bodies of two men are buried, one of whom is her next-door neighbour.

Maria Hryhohora, 63, found them shot dead in her home during the first days of the Russian invasion, but police were unable to reach her at the time because Russian troops had cordoned off the village.

The officers advised her to bury the bodies instead, but they kept records of suspected war criminals for investigation as soon as possible.

That day has finally come.

Analysis: How Ukraine blew a devastating hole in Russia’s defenses – with minimal fanfare

As the police team started digging, Maria talked about how she had found the two men, her neighbor, Ilham Mehteev, and a friend of his named Konstiantyn Pohorelov who had arrived.

They had been shot dead and were lying in their house in a large pool of blood.

“It was scary, very, very scary,” she said, her hair covered by a bright red scarf. She didn’t know why the men were the target.

Live in the dark

Maria described how life during the occupation made an already difficult life even more difficult.

She showed Sky News half of her shared property, a small, one-story house whose windows were erected to protect broken glass.

Shards from an explosion tore through the front door. There was also an explosion inside, with a splinter falling out of the wooden cover that served as a mirror in the cramped hallway.

Maria lives in the dark as there is no power in the village since April. She said she was worried about the coming winter and about the possibility of the Russians returning.

Maria is now worried about the coming winter
Picture:
Maria is now worried about the coming winter

After about an hour, police finished their work in the garden, loading the two bodies in a white body bag into the back of a truck for a forensic examination.

Then their official convoy moved to an industrial area on the outskirts of the village, where they were said to have found another dead body.

The body is rotting

The victim, believed to be a security guard, was also killed in the first days of the fighting around February 26 or 27, as Russian forces advanced, a police officer said.

His body was rotting, on the top platform of a tall, yellow metal structure erected beside large asphalt mounds.

An industrial park is also the site of war crimes
Picture:
An industrial park is also the site of war crimes

Police said they did not know why he was killed. They climbed several rickety stairs to reach the corpse, an official smelled.

As carefully as possible, they put the body in the body bag and brought it down, and put it in the trunk of the car.

The last stop was at a house nearby.

In the back garden is another makeshift grave.

Vasyl Boronov doesn't know why his brother was shot
Picture:
Vasyl Boronov doesn’t know why his brother was killed

In the street, a couple approached the police. The man, 55-year-old Vasyl Boronov, was the victim’s brother. He says his name is Serhii.

He also said he did not know why his brother was killed, in tears as the police began their work.



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