war crimes in Ukraine

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A Russian shot at me from a helicopter — Stepan Boiarchuk, Zahaltsi village

29.11.2023    available: Українською | На русском
Oleksii Sydorenko
The tiles in Stepan’s yard are riddled with bullet marks left by the Russian helicopter pilot. His property burned to the ground. Fortunately, the dog managed to survive the terrible burns. The Russians tortured his neighbor, Hryhorii, and eventually killed him, as well as two peaceful women who simply ran down the street.

Our soldiers were here, and they said: “ Those who can — leave.” As soon as my people got ready, they just left, and it began. The Russians came in, and the shooting started. It was flying, and I don’t know where it came from. Here, such a projectile flew; this was the thickness of the iron! How it skidded in that direction! A house was standing, a shell went there, and the blast wave hit us... We had an iron gate here, so shards flew through the windows. There was debris in the house: it broke through the walls and the kitchen all the way to the bathroom. Half the home was demolished. The roof was blown off. We had to borrow a lot of money for restoration.

Stepan Boiarchuk — resident of Zahaltsi village in the Kyiv region

The garage fell apart. We had two summer kitchens. There were freezers, dishes, and a closet here. They were two-story, with a staircase to the second floor. All that was left was the stepladder. But this tile in the yard is broken because they shot at me from a helicopter. I just left the porch, and a Russian flew from there and shot at me. I quickly ran into the house. I thought I’d jump out of the window if anything happened. He, however, flew on. Such a bastard!

You know, they flew like this: one, two would pass by, then the planes would fly. They would fly over three times a day, shoot, and that’s it. You see, the windows were on fire. We have already installed new ones. There were two cars parked there. “Gazelle” and “Niva” burned completely. Well, everything here in the closets burned. All! We had just started renovating, taking everything out of the house, and everything burned to the ground: freezers, TVs, everything.

All that remains of the structure is a stepladder

Morning and evening, they ironed us. And so, it seems, for a whole week — forty-two shells in my yard and garden. A neighbor came, and we dug some more from her garden. It flew from Druzhnia, it flew from Borodianka, you couldn’t tell where it was coming from. You see, the tile is broken. I went out, and everything was ruined! Here, we had a second floor, the balcony tilted and hung over the kitchen.

I have dogs and cats. They all would go to the cellar when something flew, and I followed them. When I got out, everything was already on fire. They launched phosphorus shells. The garage collapsed. The dog, Alma, was tied up [in the doghouse]. Everything was on fire, and I covered my face but couldn’t pull up the booth. I unfastened the dog, but it was burned. There was no fur. She ran away, poor thing; I thought she would perish, but now everything is fine, only the fur is not growing.

There, five houses away, Hryhorii lived. He was killed. He was wearing clothes — a sweatshirt that looked like a military one. The Russians took him to the center and tortured him. They stuck needles under his nails, extinguished cigarette butts on him, ripped open his stomach and then finished him off. Then the children looked for him and found him in the center, the garage. They [Russians] took him away because of that sweatshirt, and he may have told them something provoking, so they tortured him.

There, further away, two women lived. They closed the gate and ran. They were also shot. The Russians aimed at their heads and hit so hard that the heads shattered. The guys from the center said that [the Russians] put their feet in boiled water and interrogated them.

We suffered greatly. I wish Russians would feel it all for themselves! Let them experience it themselves and with their children! What they did to us.

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