According to a local resident, the Ukrainian mayor and her family were slaughtered in a “execution style” slaying by Russian troops before being dumped into a pit in a rural region.
According to the Associated Press, Olga Sukhenko, the mayor of the Ukrainian village of Motyzhyn, near Kyiv, was shot together with her husband and son for refusing to comply with Russian demands. For security reasons, the person who spoke to the news organisation was only identified as Oleg.
According to Oleg, Russian troops targeted local officials in Motyzhyn and killed those who refused to participate. The man claimed that after the mayor and her family were shot, they were put into a pit behind three houses seized by Russian forces.
Sukhenko and her family had been reported as taken by Russian military on March 23, according to the Associated Press. Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister, confirmed the mayor’s murder to the news source on Sunday, adding that 11 other mayors or community leaders are presently detained in Russian captivity across Ukraine.
The purported execution came only days after Russian forces were accused of perpetrating heinous war crimes against Ukrainian people. According to the Associated Press, the dead of at least 410 civilians were discovered strewn around the Kyiv region after Russian troops retreated.
Russian troops are accused of massacring residents in Bucha, a town northwest of Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s defence ministry. Hundreds of people were discovered in yards, automobiles, and along roadways, with their hands tied behind their backs, according to graphic images.
Russian troops were also accused of raping and torturing Ukrainian people, as well as plundering, according to a report by Human Rights Watch, a global advocacy organisation. According to Reuters, Russia has denied any war crimes and has called the terrible footage of dead bodies a “provocation” and a “staged performance” by Ukraine.
Since then, the US and other Western authorities have decried Russia’s conduct, with some senators describing the claims as “barbarous” and “horrifying,” and pushing for more penalties against Moscow. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, described Russia’s activities as “genocide,” telling CBS News that the country is seeking to destroy and annihilate his people.
On Sunday, European Council President Charles Michel tweeted that he was “shocked by haunting photos of crimes” perpetrated by Russian troops and that further European Union penalties against Moscow “are on the way.”
The violence in Ukraine is about to enter its sixth week. So far, Russian troops have faced intense Ukrainian resistance and have been unable to take any key cities.
According to the United Nations, the war has caused widespread devastation in cities and villages, forcing millions of Ukrainians to evacuate their homes.