in tears, a Ukrainian recognizes the body of his brother among the victims


The bodies of many civilians were found in this city near kyiv, where the Russians are accused of having committed war crimes. After being deposited in a mass grave, the remains were presented to the population to identify them.

After the atrocities, another ordeal: that of identification. A week after the discovery of the Boutcha massacre and the mass graves, near kyiv, the bodies of the civilians killed were presented to the inhabitants of the city in order to be identified, to be buried with dignity. Vova is one of these horror witnesses. This Ukrainian, met by BFMTV, recognized his brother, aged 32, among twenty corpses presented Friday by the scientific police.

“They killed him for nothing, he was just walking down the street. But why?” he laments in front of our camera.

The corpses of civilians found in the town of Boutcha, recaptured a little earlier from the Russians by the Ukrainian forces, were buried on March 10. The district is now working to give a name to each of its dead, after having taken them out of their mass grave.

“How will my mother be able to bear it?”

The bodies are lying on the ground in plastic bags, a simple number makes it possible to differentiate them. “It’s the fourth, you can close the bag,” Vova told a member of the scientific police.

The Ukrainian has just identified his younger brother, among the bodies. Collapsed, he quickly walks away, his face disfigured by pain. Out of modesty, he stands aside and is comforted by a woman.

“How am I going to tell my mother? How will she be able to handle it? And her 7-year-old daughter? She’s just a child,” he laments, tears streaming down his cheeks.

Buried in the grounds of a church

Placed in a cold room after being discovered, the bodies of civilians found in Boutcha will now be entitled to a burial.

“The morgue was full of corpses, without electricity. We could no longer keep them in the cold room, so we had to bury them,” says Andriy, a priest at Andriy Pervozvannyi Church.

“The cemetery is outside the city, we could no longer access it because of the bombardments. We had to find a temporary place, it was the park of our church which was chosen”, he specifies.

A long work for the scientific police

The district attorney’s men take the bodies out of their bags one by one and try to find elements to identify them and find out the circumstances of their death.

“The first six bodies have traces of gunshot wounds, the other has shrapnel. Sometimes there are only body parts, they were killed in the street or when they were trying to flee in their car,” said Bucha District Prosecutor Ruslan Kravchenko.

The work of identifying the bodies could take several more days. A hundred bodies are still laid out in the mass grave.

Many bodies of civilians were found in early April in Boutcha lying in the streets of several towns on the outskirts of the capital, sometimes tied up. A massacre described as “war crimes” by Volodymyr Zelensky.

Jérémie Paire and Joâo Alencar with Juliette Desmonceaux


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