Warning: Graphic scenes described/Graphic image
Bucha, Ukraine – April 6, 2022
By Matthew Hatcher – Special columnist for the Bloomingtonian
Rain is falling as fog rolls over the vast landscape of forest and farms on the outskirts of Bucha. It is peaceful now, and hard to believe at first glance this area was the setting for one of the worst war crimes in recent memory on European soil.
A man lay on the damp grass which is gaining its spring green color. Next to him lay his bicycle, still where it fell. He is motionless, skin is pale. He wears a nice sweater and jacket, dressed for the cold and a long walk along the highway to the next destination. The destination he never arrived at.
Somewhere on his journey, he was shot dead. He fell where he stood, along with his bike and his personal possessions. Whoever was expecting him, whoever he said bye to before he left, never saw him again. He was not the only one though.
As the Russians withdrew from the villages surrounding Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, they left in their wake a sea of destruction and death. In Bucha bodies lay in the streets and in a hastily dug mass grave, some bodies they attempted to burn, others they left where they fell, the horror of it is hard to describe, all of them were civilians, some were bound before their execution.
In nearby Borodyanka entire residential apartment blocks were flattened by airstrikes, the death toll there has not yet been discovered, but many officials believe it will be higher than in Bucha or Irpin.
All around the roads of these areas are destroyed Russian armored columns, some still containing the gruesome remains of their human cargo, the smell of burnt flesh and diesel fuel still hangs thick and sickening in the early spring air.
There is no denying the brutal violence and horrific atrocities that occurred in the attempted taking of Kyiv by the Russians. They’ve pulled out now, and sources say they will be focusing on the eastern part of the country, where perhaps already even worse scenes of war crimes are developing.