New York Times War Crimes Investigation

IThere are journalistic works that should be read, welcomed and, above all, shared with as many people as possible. Even more so in times of war, when the confrontation also occurs in the field of communication. the large format New York Times dedicated to the Boutcha massacre is one of those.

In an extensive article, written by Carlotta Gall and enriched with photos by Daniel Berehulak, the American newspaper documents the crimes that have been committed in this city located northwest of kyiv, where many civilian bodies were found after the withdrawal of Russian troops in early April. “We went to Boutcha, documented dozens of civilian killings, interviewed numerous witnesses and followed investigators there to take stock of the atrocities committed by the Russians”announces the newspaper, under three photos, full width, of corpses, blown up buildings and mass graves.

“Boutcha is a landscape of horrors”The article also warns, whose authors also report the crimes on a map of Boutcha, showing that these were perpetrated throughout the city. “The evidence shows that the Russians killed recklessly and sometimes sadistically, in part out of revenge. »

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“My son was shot. I wish it was me”

The American newspaper reveals in particular the presence, in addition to armed soldiers, bombs and tanks firing on sight, of snipers everywhere in Boutcha. According to the newspaper, Russian forces had established a base in a residence behind the city’s main high school. “On March 5, a Russian sniper began shooting at anything moving south of this high school”Write the New York Times.

Like Ivan’s son. “My son was shot. I was next to him. I wish it was me”tells this neighbor, who had gone for a walk with his son on Yablonska Street (“Apple Street”). After an agonizing night, he died early the next morning, leaving behind an 8-year-old son and a one-year-old daughter. His family buried him in the garden: “It is very difficult to bury your son. I do not wish it nor to my worst enemy. »

Also read: War in Ukraine: these poisonings that seek to pass off the Boutcha massacre as a staging

This Yablonska street, where Ivan’s son was shot, quickly became the deadliest street for passers-by, the New York Times. A man riding a bicycle was also killed there, as shown a video shot by a drone and shared by the international group of researchers Bellingcat. As of March 11 there were at least eleven corpses littering this street and its sidewalks.

” A case [de sévices sexuels] among others “

Boutcha police identify a dead person near a corner of Ivana-Franka street on April 7, 2022.

After Russian troops withdrew from the kyiv region and northern Ukraine, 66-year-old Volodymyr Shepitko, who had taken refuge with his family in a basement, found his home ransacked. Soldiers had taken it over – the latter had forced residents to flee to take over homes near their bases – and turned it into a huge garbage can, trash and empty beer bottles strewn on the ground.

And in a cellar under the garden shed, his nephew found the body of a woman, the American newspaper reports. “On the ground, with his legs apart, he was wearing a fur coat and nothing else. » They shot him in the head. Police found torn condom wrappers as well as a used condom. ” A case [de sévices sexuels] Among many others “The human rights commissar of the Ukrainian assembly, Lyudmyla Denisova, responded to the newspaper.

According to many neighbors interviewed by the newspaper, “The further the war progressed, the more horrible the mood and behavior of the Russian troops became”. Even according to the accounts of the witnesses found in Boutcha, certain acts of violence acquired a cynical dimension, they were made to terrorize. Russian forces were also particularly suspicious of men of military age, accusing them of being members of the Ukrainian Defense Forces. Natalya Oleksandrova’s nephew was a victim. They took him forty-eight hours of interrogation, according to statements by the soldiers who kidnapped him, he never returned and was found dead, after the Russians left, in a basement.

The vast majority of civilians among the dead

Originally from Moldova and a resident of Ukraine for ten years, Marta Kirmichi last spoke with her husband in mid-March. She had left her family home near Chernihiv a month earlier to join her workplace, a construction site for a new housing complex in Boutcha. During the month of March he had managed to contact his wife twice to tell her that he was still alive. Then nothing.

Oleg, 56, mourns his mother Inna, 86, who was killed in Boutcha, outside kyiv, on April 10, 2022.

In early April, he discovers, along with the rest of the world, the first photos of the murdered men, scattered on Yablonska Street, near pallets and building materials, some with their hands tied. METERI Kirmichi recognized him immediately. Her husband was lying face down. She found some hope after noticing later, in another photo, that he was no longer lying next to the other bodies. She wants to believe that, injured, he was taken to the hospital, but in mid-April she had still not heard from him.

According New York TimesSome 360 ​​people were found dead in a single weekend, in and around Boutcha. Among them, more than 250 had been killed by bullets or shrapnel and were being investigated for war crimes, according to city prosecutor Ruslan Kravchenko.

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Many others died of hunger – like at least six elderly people in an abandoned hospice, the American newspaper pointed out -, of cold or due to lack of medicine and doctors. Most of the dead were civilians: Only two members of the Ukrainian army were among the victims in Boutcha, an official at the city’s cemetery said. Authorities have collected several thousand photos and videos of these crimes, posted on a Ukrainian government site created for the occasion. Warcrimes.gov.ua.

read the survey New York Times (in English) : “Bucha’s Terror Month”

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