02/12/2022

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Ukrainian village leader and family found buried in shallow grave

Ukrainian village leader and family found buried in shallow grave

By Marko Djurica

MOTYZHYN, Ukraine (Reuters) -The head of the village of Motyzhyn, her husband and son had been shot and buried in a shallow grave, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry mentioned on Monday, demonstrating their partly covered bodies in the sand.

Since Russian troops withdrew from towns and villages all around the Ukrainian cash Kyiv very last week, Ukrainian troops have been moving in, demonstrating journalists corpses of what they say are civilians killed by Russian forces, ruined residences and burnt-out vehicles.

Reuters could not independently confirm who killed the relatives in the grave just outside the house Motyzhyn, about 45 km (28 miles) west of Kyiv. Moscow has denied concentrating on civilians and has reported comparable reports of killings had been “staged” to sully Russia’s identify.

“There have been Russian occupiers here. They tortured and murdered the whole household of the village head,” claimed Anton Herashchenko, naming those people killed as Olha Sukhenko, her spouse Ihor Sukhenko and their 25-calendar year aged son, Oleksandr.

“The occupiers suspected they have been collaborating with our armed forces, giving us places of the place to goal our artillery. These scum tortured, slaughtered and killed the total loved ones. They will be liable for this.”

A Reuters reporter observed the bodies in a forest near a farm, which experienced been all but wrecked, just outside the village of Motyzhyn. Close by a burnt-out tractor could be noticed and one of these buried in the sand had his head taped.

The reporter also observed a different system of a male in a very well in close proximity to to the burnt-out farm, where black scorch marks climbed up its couple remaining walls. He appeared to have been tied up.

Daria Belenitsyna, who determined herself as Oleksandr Sukhenko’s girlfriend, explained to Reuters the relatives experienced been taken captive by Russian forces on March 23.

She mentioned Russian troopers experienced first searched the dwelling that morning, using Oleksandr’s auto and a mobile phone away. Oleksandr – known as Sasha – had known as to reassure her, she reported.

“I urged them to depart promptly. But Sasha stated, ‘it’s ok, do not worry’,” she explained.

The soldiers arrived again a couple hrs later on, blindfolded Olha Sukhenko and her partner, and took them absent, Belenitsyna mentioned. Then they arrived a third time to just take Oleksandr, she said, citing his sister Lena and the family’s neighbours.

She claimed at very first kin thought the Sukhenko family members may possibly be part of a prisoners’ trade, but then discovered out they were being dead.

Ihor, who did not give his surname and stated he was a relative of the Sukhenkos, said: “Over there, in the gap, my family lies. I will not know what they have been killed for. They were tranquil, variety people today.”

Vadym Tokar, head of the Makariv village council which neighbours Motyzhyn, stated the bodies experienced been still left where they have been uncovered.

“We cannot get them out simply because there is a suspicion that they are mined,” he mentioned by phone.

World-wide outrage unfold on Monday around civilian deaths in Ukraine, like proof of sure bodies shot at near assortment and a mass grave found in Bucha, a further town in the vicinity of Kyiv, right after it was retaken from Russian troops.

The Kremlin mentioned on Monday it categorically denied any accusations linked to the murder of civilians in Bucha.

“This information ought to be critically questioned,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told reporters. “From what we have noticed, our industry experts have identified indications of movie falsification and other fakes.”

Russia denies concentrating on civilians because invading Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what it phone calls a “special navy operation” aimed at demilitarising and “denazifying” Ukraine. Ukraine claims it was invaded with no provocation.

(Reporting by Marko Djurica, further reporting and writing by Elizabeth Piper and Silvia Aloisi in Lviv Editing by Janet Lawrence and Rosalba O’Brien)