Crimes against humanity in Ukraine during the war


Antonio Cossa in areas recently occupied by the Russians.
Inprin, Bucha, Borodyanka

I recently witnessed extensive damage to residential areas, including a block where a projectile blew a hole in an apartment. There were abandoned carts everywhere. There were bullet-riddled cars and charred houses where the roofs had been completely ripped off.

Odors of some dead are still under the rubble. Others were hastily buried in courtyards and parks because a proper funeral was impossible. The mayor estimates that between 200 and 300 civilians were killed here, some directly targeted as they fled. The final death toll is likely to be higher.

The Russians occupied much of the city, but resistance here in Inprin was strong. Ukraine's Defense Ministry recognized "the mass heroism and resilience of residents and defenders" with the honorary title of "Hero City of Ukraine".
Inside the city, as police and heavily armed troops kept watch, there was a palpable layer of tension.

That victory was difficult, but the troops we spoke with admitted that the Russians might come back at some point.

Moscow now says it will drastically reduce its attacks around the capital and focus on the eastern Donbas region. In reality, the Kremlin had little choice, as its offensives in the capital had stalled.

But in time Russian forces may regroup and attack the capital again. If they do, the "city of heroes" will again be on the way and in the line of fire.

As I left Irpin for other newly occupied areas, I saw a handful of civilians being evacuated on foot, crossing the riverbed on wooden planks precariously balanced on rubble and boulders. It is the wreckage of a bridge, blown up by Ukrainian forces to block the Russian advance - another sacrifice made by Irpin.

The Bucha Massacre

The Bucha massacre was the murder and abuse of Ukrainian civilians by the Russian Armed Forces during the fighting and occupation of the Ukrainian city of Bucha.
Approximately 1,300 bodies were recovered in and around the city, including 31 children.

In these places, civilian corpses were found, lined up with their hands tied behind their backs, shot at point-blank range, which ostensibly proved that summary executions had taken place.

 Many bodies were found mutilated and burned, and fourteen-year-old girls reported being raped by soldiers.

Borodianka Massacre

The city of Borodianka was extensively bombed by the Russian Armed Forces during the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Borodianka, a quiet "one-street town north of Kyiv, had around 13,000 residents.

As Russian forces fought in and near Kyiv, Borodianka, which lies on a strategically important road, was the target of several Russian air strikes. According to Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine's attorney general, Russian soldiers used cluster munitions and Tornado and Uragan rockets to destroy buildings and fired "at night, when the maximum number of people would be at home". Most of the city's buildings were destroyed, including almost all of its main street. Russian bombs hit the center of the buildings and caused them to collapse while the structures remained standing. residents were buried alive by air strikes and died for up to a week. those who tried to help them were shot at by Russian soldiers.

Venediktova also accused Russian soldiers of "murdering, torturing and beating" civilians.

Some villagers hid in caves for 38 days. On March 26, 2022, Russia, repulsed from Kyiv, progressively withdrew from the region to focus on Donbas. open window. He estimated at least 200 dead.

Only a few hundred residents remained in Borodianka when the Russians withdrew, with around 90% of residents fleeing and an unknown number of dead in the rubble. Retreating Russian troops laid mines across the city.

António Cossa
United Photo Press