What is the situation in Borodyanka?
The city of Borodianka is located 50 kilometers from kyiv, north of Boutcha, about a hundred kilometers from the Belarusian border. The Russian army was seen there as early as February 27, just three days after the start of the invasion of Ukraine, and remained there for almost a month. After its withdrawal, it was recaptured by Ukrainian forces.
The city had just over 13,000 inhabitants before the outbreak of the war. From now on, according to the journalists present on the spot, it is reduced to nothing. The long road through the modest town, is lined with devastation. The buildings, destroyed, spilled their contents, mainly clothes, on the treetops. A charred tank is parked in the bowels of a devastated building. Children’s toys are strewn all over the street, too numerous to count.
How many deaths have been recorded?
Thusday, Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova announced on Facebook that 26 bodies had been discovered by rescuers in the rubble of two bombed apartment buildings in Borodyanka. But “it is difficult to predict how many deaths there will be” in total, she immediately underlined, noting that it is “the most destroyed city in the region” of kyiv. “Only the civilian population was targeted: there is no military site” in this locality, she said. “The occupiers deliberately exterminated the civilian population: they killed, tortured and massacred. We have already confirmed the fact of sexual violence in Borodyanka,” she continues.
AFP journalists, who went to report in the town on Monday, said they saw no bodies on the ground, unlike in the neighboring town of Boutcha, but residents say several of their neighbors were killed here. “I know that five civilians were killed,” said Rafik Azimov, a 58-year-old resident. “But we don’t know how many others are abandoned in the basements of buildings after the bombardments.” “No one has tried to get them out yet, so we don’t know,” he added.
What do we know about abuses?
According to Iryna Venediktova, the Russians used cluster bombs and heavy multiple rocket launchers “which bring death and destruction”. “There is evidence of war crimes by Russian forces at every turn,” she wrote. “The enemy treacherously shelled the residential infrastructure in the evening, when there were a maximum of people at home,” she wrote again. She also accused the Russian soldiers of carrying out ‘murders, tortures and beatings’ of civilians, as well as rapes, pointing out that the forces were collecting evidence for local courts. and international.
A 67-year-old woman, Valentyna Petrenko, made her way from the neighboring village to witness the horror to journalists. “When the Russians came, they took our cell phones and ransacked houses. We tried to behave normally with them, so as not to provoke them,” she explains. “A missile hit our village, my house was in ruins, everything was in ruins,” she says. “The Russians have committed atrocities, many atrocities”. According to another resident, Volodymyr Nahornyi, “all the apartments were broken into and vandalized”. “Everything is ruined, everything is damaged”. “I buried six people,” he says. “The others are under the rubble.”
“Acts that the inhabitants had never seen”
The situation in Borodyanka is “much more horrible” than in Boutcha, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video Thursday evening. “There are more victims” than in Boutcha, he says. “Every crime will be solved and every executioner will be found,” he said.
On Monday, he had already assured that “information already indicates that the number of victims of the occupiers could be even higher in Borodianka and in other liberated towns”. “In many villages in the liberated districts of Kyiv, Chernihiv and Sumy regions, the occupiers committed acts that the inhabitants had never seen even during the Nazi occupation 80 years ago. »