Rampant depravity, torture and torment over lacking family members: Inside village ravaged by Russian troopers


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Boghdanivka is a small farming village on the highway north from Kyiv to Chernihiv, simply east of the Dnipro river.

For a lot of weeks in March and April, it was occupied by Russian troopers as they tried to advance on the capital Kyiv, earlier than retreating, defeated.

They left behind reminiscences of rampant depravity, torture and households desperately on the lookout for information of lacking family members.

That is the story of Boghdanivka, however it might be of numerous villages in Ukraine the place lives have modified throughout 100 days of struggle.

“He loaded his machine gun and stated, ‘Now we’ll kill you’.”

Alexsandr, not his actual identify, has hidden the garments he was sporting the night time the Russians got here for him – he’s conserving them protected as proof of struggle crimes.

He exhibits us the blood-stained tracksuit bottoms, the place a nail was hammered into his knee. And the material used to tie his arms behind his again. He nonetheless has the scars on his face from the place a cigarette was stubbed out.

“He (a soldier) hit me within the head with the deal with of a knife. He kicked me within the again. Then he put my arms on the desk and hit them thrice with the butt of a machine gun. The arm was already badly bent. I understood that it was a fracture. ‘You’re a Nazi. The place do you cover the Nazis?’ he shouted at me.

“He saved saying ‘you might be an animal’ and ‘I am going to lower out one thing from you’. He took out a knife, pressed it to my abdomen and stated, ‘I am going to lower off your penis so you do not breed’. There have been about 5 individuals. They beat me from all sides.

“I used to be hit so arduous that one thing cracked in my head and I fell to the ground and his foot slipped on the blood. They stated, ‘Stand up, or we’ll lower the tendons in your legs’.

“He saved his foot on my leg to interrupt it. I obtained up and sat down on a chair. I did not perceive something anymore. I used to be misplaced. I did not communicate nicely, I had a damaged nostril. Then he requested, ‘Do you smoke?’ I say no.

“And he put out the cigarette butt on my cheek. Then he stated, ‘Take this animal away, he coated the whole lot right here with blood’.

Aleksandr has scars on his face where Russian soldiers in Boghdanivka tortured him with cigarettes
Aleksandr has scars on his face the place Russian troopers in Boghdanivka tortured him with cigarettes

“They took me and led me down the steps to the cellar. They put me on a plastic chair. They stated, ‘Wait, we’ll come and kill you’.

“Then he goes down and says, ‘I am a maniac, I will lower you’.

“He went down and began beating me together with his fists, the deal with of a knife. Then he took my ear and lower it a bit of. Then within the morning he loaded his machine gun and stated, ‘Now we’ll kill you’.”

Russian troopers smeared their very own excrement on the partitions

The village faculty is not far away. What’s left of it.

When Russian troops occupied the village the college was used as their most important base. It’s now a burned shell, totally trashed. There are mattresses on the flooring the place the Russian troopers slept and half-empty bottles of alcohol.

Learn extra:
100 days of war in Ukraine: The devastating consequences of Putin’s invasion

Within the maths classroom there’s a calendar marking the day they arrived and the day they left – and subsequent to it a message written in English.

As a last insult they smeared their very own excrement on the partitions after which firebombed the place as they retreated.

“We knew they had been right here, that they lived right here, however I did not assume that adults, who might need kids too, may try this,” the top instructor instructed us.

“We thought that they might stay right here, construct and go away right here. However what they did was terrible. It was arduous for me, it was arduous for the youngsters. The kids cried after they noticed that the kindergarten had burned down.”

The Russian troopers went house-to-house, marking entrance gates if individuals lived there.

Yulia Vasylenko's husband has been missing since being taken from Boghdanivka by Russian forces
Yulia Vasylenko’s husband has been lacking since being taken from Boghdanivka by Russian forces

Like everybody, Yulia Vasylenko obtained a knock on the door – she is married to the village policeman, Viacheslav.

He was taken away that day and hasn’t been seen since.

“5 troopers got here,” she says.

“Two in the home and three waited on the road. They instructed my husband to place his arms behind his again after which they took him. We’ve not seen him since and we do not know something about him. I hope he is in jail – we want him alive, we miss him.”

She thinks he might need been betrayed by a traitor.

“He was taken away and crushed for positive,” she says.

“He was betrayed. 100% handed over by somebody. They knew precisely who he was and the place we lived.”

These are the tales of only one Ukrainian village.

Males, girls, and youngsters whose lives and futures have been irrevocably modified and broken.

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