war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

‘With one strike, the plane destroyed six houses...’

19.10.2023    available: Українською
Oleksii Sydorenko
Olena Mishchenko is a resident of the Korolivka village in the Kyiv Region. The woman survived bombings, shelling, and murders of loved ones. The Russians destroyed Olena’s house, and she had to bury the dead in her yard.

What’s up with our house? We made a new foundation, insulated it, covered everything with thermoplastic tiles, painted it, threw out the stove, and made some repairs. And now you can’t enter the house. A commission wrote that it was to be demolished because it was unsuitable for habitation. Everything falls apart. Here was the bedroom. Here was the kitchen. And this was a large room. Somewhere here was a TV, there were icons, everything was here: the table, the TV, the closet — just like that... The bastards caused big trouble.

Olena Mishchenko — resident of the Korolivka village in the Kyiv Region

About shelling and killings of people

Many killed! My cousin’s sister’s boyfriend was killed in her house. He was so calm, such a golden boy, and wanted to get married... He died right in bed, in the house. My godmother lives on the edge of my village, and the children came to her with their children; they thought they would be saved in the village. But it turned out that the people who remained in Kyiv survived. When the bombing started, they ran out of the house and wanted to hide in the cellar. As soon as they ran out, the son and grandson were killed. Another grandson’s arm was torn off. On the 18th, we found the bodies lying in the village’s center. Many died in the village.

We have never had such explosions on 24 February as in Hostomel. And on 6 March, our village was already destroyed. That day, six houses on our street were wrecked at once. The plane flew and dropped bombs. And on one street, this plane hit six houses at once. And then, on 18 March, our tanks came from here, and Russian tanks from Lypivka. Russians were behind the headquarters, and ours were at the end of our street. That’s why we got it. They wanted to kill our tankers; some were killed, and corpses lay in the courtyards. Russian tanks were coming from the end of the village, and ours were coming from here. There, too, many houses burned down.

House of Olena Mishchenko after enemy shelling

It hit the house in the corner. One guy originally from Havronschyna came to see a girl — not far from us here on the street. He came to us and asked for a smoke. Vasya, my son’s godfather, brought him a cigarette, and right here in the yard, this guy died. Three people in the house were injured. And then Lypivka and Havronschyna were under the Russians. Relatives from Havronschyna could not take him away. So that he would not lie in the yard, we brought him into the house, and Vasya and I went to live with my daughter. His body stayed in the house for a month. Then, they allowed him to be buried behind a hazel tree. And not only him! Everyone buried the dead in the gardens. Only later, they took the bodies to the morgues.

The remains of one of the rooms and the garden outside the window. Residents of Ukrainian cities and villages often had to bury their loved ones killed by Russian soldiers in gardens.

The Russians were at the other end of the village, but they only came for one day and then moved towards Lypivka. They danced, sang, and drank in a bar in Lypivka. Shops and houses were robbed. Many Russians lived in Andriivka. They entered Korolivka, and one man approached the tank and said: “What are you doing? We didn’t invite you! Why did you come to us? And there, one soldier wanted to shoot him, but the sergeant said not to touch him.

We all hate them so much! I want the war to go over to their side so they can see this and have Bucha, not us. So they know what war is and what it is like to have people’s houses burned down from airplanes.

This publication is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Human Rights in Action Program, run by the Ukrainian Helsinki Group on Human Rights (UHSHR).

The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the US Government, or UHSHR. The authors and KHPG are solely responsible for the content of this article.

USAID is one of the world's leading development agencies facilitating the end of extreme poverty and supporting the movement of recipient countries to self-reliance and resilience. USAID also contributes to the national security and economic well-being of the United States. Its activity is a manifestation of the philanthropy of the American people. USAID has been partnering with Ukraine since 1992: during this time, the agency's total assistance to Ukraine amounted to more than 3 billion US dollars. USAID's current strategic priorities in Ukraine include strengthening democracy and good governance, promoting economic development and energy security, improving health systems, and reducing the impact of conflict in the eastern regions. For more information about USAID's activities, please contact the Public Relations Department of the USAID Mission in Ukraine at tel. (+38 044) 521-57-53. We also invite you to visit their website: or the Facebook page:

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