After the withdrawal of the Russian troops, the hour is with the first observations of the horror. The Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova announced on Thursday 7 April the discovery of at least 26 body under the rubble of two apartment buildings in Borodyanka, a town in the kyiv region, a few kilometers from Boutcha, where the discovery of numerous bodies of civilians in the streets provoked international outrage. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has already warned that“there are more victims” than in Boutcha. Franceinfo summarizes what we know about the situation on the spot.
A city targeted by Russian forces for a month
Borodyanka, located in the administrative subdivision ofKyiv Oblast, consisted of 13,000 inhabitants before the war. Located 50 kilometers away northwest of the capital and a hundred kilometers from the Belarusian border, this city was on the axis of the column of Russian tanks of more than 60 km which gradually advanced towards kyiv. After intense shelling and airstrikes from February 28the city was occupied for several weeks by Russian forces, as reported by CNN in a report showing the extent of the damage (in English).
Faced with the difficulties encountered by Moscow in seizing the capital, the Kremlin finally announced on March 25 a change of strategy to focus on the east and south of the country. It was this withdrawal of military forces from the city that made it possible to discover the consequences of this occupation after a month of Russian offensive.
Extensive damage and charges of war crimes
In a post about Facebook published on Thursday, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine explains that theRussian forces used cluster bombs and heavy multiple rocket launchers “bringing death and destruction”. Iryna Venediktova evokes “the most destroyed city in the Kyiv region” or “only the civilian population was targeted”. She recalls that“there is no military site” in Borodyanka and asserts that “there areevidence of war crimes by russian forces at every turn” from the city.
“The enemy treacherously shelled the residential infrastructure in the evening, when there were a maximum of people at home”, assures the Ukrainian magistrate. She accuses the Russian soldiers of having engaged in “murder, torture and beatings” civilians, as well as rapes, pointing out that law enforcement collects evidence for local and international courts.
The France Télévisions teams, who were able to go to the liberated city, also noted the destruction of many residential buildings. Our special envoys have collected testimonies from civilians, alleging summary executions.
“They killed a woman there, they burned her body in the courtyard. There was also a man, without a head, I don’t want to know what they did with him”relates a resident at the microphone of France 3. “When they arrived in Borodyanka, they started shooting indiscriminately at the tops of the houses with their tanks. As soon as they saw an open window, they opened fire,” testifies the mayor of the town to reporters from France 2.
An assessment still difficult to establish
While Ukrainian rescuers started cleaning up the debris, the Ukrainian Prosecutor General announced the discovery of at least 26 bodies under the rubble of two apartment buildings. “It is difficult to predict how many deaths there will be” in total in the city, she adds on Facebook, while the first censuses are only beginning. Questioned on Wednesday by the special envoys of France Télévisions, thehe mayor of the town counted at least 200 victims.
In a video message released on Thursday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky assured that the situation in Borodyanka is “much more horrible” than in Boutcha, where the images of the corpses of civilians aroused dread. “There are more victims”, added the Head of State. The balance sheet, still difficult to establish, could increase in the coming days.