Russians leave 13 ‘executed civilians’ on highway of death where couple were killed and ‘booby trap their bodies’ in evidence of MORE Russian war crimes – with claims of 300 dead in one city
- The city of Irpin was recently reclaimed from Russian forces by Ukrainian fighters, who pushed them out
- This week, the mayor said 300 civilians were killed during Russia’s almost month-long occupation of the city
- On March 7, a shocking video showed a man being gunned down by soldiers while trying to escape Kyiv
- He was trying to escape the capital in a convoy with his wife and six-year-old son also in his vehicle
- Video showed him get out of his car with his hands up when he was gunned down by a Russian tank crew
- It is one of many incidents that show potential war crimes being carried out by Russian soldiers in Ukraine
- The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating Russia for possible war crimes in Ukraine
Retreating Russian soldiers left 13 dead civilians along a highway leading out of Kyiv, with some of the bodies being booby-trapped with mines, according to reports.
Grim eyewitness accounts Friday suggested Moscow’s forces carried out more war crimes in Ukraine, with reports coming out of one city claiming 300 civilians were killed in the last month – as officials begin the process of recovering the dead.
An investigation found that as many as 13 people were killed near Kyiv along one stretch of road, including a young couple. Their deaths were captured in a shocking video earlier this month.
The mayor of Irpin, a city recently reclaimed by Ukrainian troops, said this week that up to 300 civilians and 50 ‘defenders’ were killed during Russia’s occupation. Up to 50 percent of the city’s buildings and critical infrastructure was damaged, he added.
Irpin counted around 60,000 residents before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his attack on Ukraine on February 24. Mayor Oleksandr Markushyn said around 3,500 people had stayed, and that officials are still looking for people in hidden in their basements.
He pleaded for the city’s residents not to return home yet, as it is still under fire from Russian artillery.
Pictures from Irpin Friday showed soldiers carrying body bags down a ruined stretch of road. Now that Ukraine’s forces have pushed Russia out of the region, work has been able to begin to collect the dead.
However, according to Olena Halushka – a member of an anti-corruption group in Ukraine – some of the bodies were mined by Russian forces before they retreated, creating treacherous booby traps for the recovery workers.
Nearby, an on-the-ground BBC investigation found 13 bodies strewn along a 200-yard stretch of the E-40 motorway that runs into Kyiv from the west – and about 5 miles south of Irpin. Two were of a young couple who were killed while trying to escape the capital down the highway.
Maksim Iowenko, his wife Ksjena and their six-year-old son were part of a 10-car convoy driving down the road when they came under fire from a Russian tank crew.
Harrowing footage from March 7 showed Maksim stopping the car and getting out with his hands up. Despite the obvious sign of surrender, the Russian troops – hidden in a tree-line along the side of the road – gunned him down in broad daylight. His wife was also killed in the attack.
Ukrainian soldiers collect bodies of civilians killed by the Russian forces at the destroyed bridge in Irpin close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 31, 2022
A couple walk past the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling before they are transferred to a mortuary, after bodies were collected from different locations, amid Russia’s invasion on Ukraine, in Irpin, Ukraine March 31, 2022
Pictured: Ukrainian soldiers carry a body of a civilian killed by the Russian forces over the destroyed bridge in Irpin close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Thursday, March 31, 2022
Maksim and his wife (pictured together) were killed in an attack on March 7. Their six-year-old son survived and a friend’s mother – who was also in the car when it came under fire from a Russian tank unit – was injured. The Russian soldiers later let them go
The video, filmed by a drone operated by the Ukrainian military’s Bugatti drone unit monitoring the position of the Russian crew, showed his body slump to the floor.
His wife was also killed in the attack, while their son and an elderly woman – the mother of one of Maksim’s friend who was also in the car – survived. They were later released by the Russian troops, and were found walking back down the road.
According to the BBC, when the woman returned home she told her family Maksim was shouting that there was a child in the car when he was killed.
The broadcaster’s journalists found the car burnt-out and what the believe to be Maksim’s burnt remains, although the footage did not show that it was on fire during the attack. They theorised that the Russian soldiers torched the vehicle to destroy the evidence of the brutal slaughter.
The reporters also said they found other evidence of attempts to destroy bodies. While some were left to rot, others were placed under tyres, with charred clothing. Just two of the bodies found on the same stretch of road wore recognisable Ukrainian military uniforms, the BBC reported.
The slaughtering of civilians, particularly those who do not pose a threat, is considered a war crime under international humanitarian law.
The Bugatti unit has handed its footage over to Kyiv authorities as well as Britain’s Metropolitan Police, whose War Crimes unit is investigating the war in Ukraine in collaboration with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
The shocking killing of Maksim and Ksjena happened on a stretch of road between the towns of Mria and Myla (which translate to Dream and Sweetheart) that lie about seven miles south of Irpin.
Speaking on Wednesday, Irpin’s mayor Oleksandr Markushyn told reporters: ‘I think about 200 to 300 people have died unfortunately.
The man exits the car and immediately raises his hands above his head, turning to face the Russian soldiers in a clear show of surrender
Within seconds he is gunned down in cold blood. Moments later, a gang of solders are seen grabbing the civilian’s lifeless body and dragging him away into the trees nearby. A woman and child were also travelling in the car, and were taken captive
‘Fifty percent of the city is destroyed, including critical infrastructure,’ he added. While Irpin was ‘100 percent’ under Ukrainian control, it is ‘still dangerous’ and still being shelled by Russia, he added.
Ukraine said the commuter town was ‘liberated’ from Russian forces on Monday.
Markushyn said at least 50 Ukrainian soldiers had been killed in the battle for the town, and around 100 wounded.
‘There are no Russian invaders in the city anymore,’ Markushyn said.
Irpin counted around 60,000 residents before Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his attack on Ukraine on February 24. The mayor said around 3,500 people had stayed on and that ‘we are still looking for people in basements.’
Addressing those who fled Irpin, he said: ‘Please don’t return. It is dangerous. I will tell you when we you can return. But in the next month, you won’t be able to return.’
He said Irpin is still being shelled by Russian forces from Bucha, another suburb of the capital Kyiv that is less than 10 kilometres (six miles) away.
A Ukranian policeman walks past a grave of a civilian who was killed at a park called ‘Mama park’ during the shelling amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine in Irpin, March 31, 2022
Russian forces shelled Irpin from the start of the war and it is considered as a key passage onto the Ukrainian capital. A US journalist was killed in the town earlier this month. It has since been closed to the media.
Since Vladimir Putin launched his attack on Ukraine on February 24, there have been frequent reports of suspected war crimes across the country.
Moscow has repeatedly denied that it is not targeting, or even attacking, civilians and civilian areas. Evidence, including thousands of photographs and videos as well as eyewitness accounts, prove otherwise.
Russian forces have repeatedly attacked Ukrainian medical facilities, striking at hospitals, ambulances, medics, patients and even newborns.
Among the most thoroughly documented strikes was the March 9 bombing of a children’s and maternity hospital in Mariupol.
In another attack in the southern port city on March 16, a Russian strike hit a theatre that was being used as a shelter by as many as 1,300 civilians.
Russian shelling has meant officials have not been able to get close enough to the theatre to assess full scale of the destruction, but as many as 300 people are believed to have been killed.
With every new attack, the public outcry for war crimes prosecutions against Russian President Vladimir Putin, his generals and top Kremlin advisers grows louder.
This satellite image distributed by Maxar Technologies shows extensive damage to the Mariupol theater and nearby buildings in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 29, 2022
Mariana Vishegirskaya stands outside a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Russian forces struck a Red Cross facility in Mariupol but no staff were inside after it was evacuated. Pictured: Holes are seen in the roof of the facility
Local residents walk past an apartment building destroyed during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine March 31, 2022
To convict, prosecutors will need to show that the attacks are not merely accidents or collateral damage.
Military attacks on civilian populations and their property are generally forbidden under international laws governing armed conflicts going back more than a century.
Efforts are already underway by the International Criminal Court in the Hague and Ukrainian prosecutors to compile evidence for future criminal indictments.
Chief ICC prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan announced last month that his agency had opened an investigation after receiving referrals from 39 nations over potential evidence of war crimes committed in Ukraine.
President Joe Biden has said he believes Putin is a war criminal, and the U.S. government has assessed that members of Russia’s armed forces have committed war crimes.
Revealed: Ukrainian civilian shot dead by Russians in footage that shocked the world was a father who was killed along with his wife as he tried to drive her and his six-year-old son to safety
According to reports, the man in the video with his hands up was Maksim Iovenko (above), a family man who was attempting to drive his wife and six-year-old son to safety
The identity of a Ukrainian civilian who was shot dead in cold blood along with his wife by Russian troops has been revealed.
Drone footage emerged from Ukraine last week appearing to show a group of Russian soldiers executing a lone Ukrainian civilian who was trying to surrender.
According to reports, the man in the video with his hands up was Maksim Iovenko, a family man who was attempting to drive his wife and six-year-old son to safety.
His friend, who was also driving in the column, told the BBC: ‘We heard shooting. They started shooting at the column. We all turned back.
‘Later we all stopped and saw that one car was missing. Maksim’s car. In that car, there was Maksim, his wife, their son and my mum.
‘From what [my mum] told me, Maksim was turning back. Maksim got out of the car, raised his hands and started shouting that there were children in the car. And they shot him.’
Maksim and his wife were killed in the incident, however his son survived and the friend’s mother was injured as the Russian soldiers let them go.
Maksim’s father, Sergiy Iovenko, described how he still had ‘some hope’ until he saw the video and couldn’t believe it until he touched his son’s body.
Maksim’s father, Sergiy Iovenko, described how he still had ‘some hope’ until he saw the video and couldn’t believe it until he touched his son’s body
His friend, who was also driving in the column, told the BBC : ‘We heard shooting. They started shooting at the column. We all turned back’
The video, obtained by German broadcaster ZDF and filmed on March 7, shows a silver car driving along the E40 European expressway west of Kyiv.
The car was heading towards Kyiv, but upon seeing a Russian tank and a group of soldiers parked by the side of the road, the driver made a rapid U-turn before braking and coming to a stop.
The man exited the car and immediately raised his hands above his head, turning to face the Russian soldiers in a clear show of surrender.
But within seconds he was gunned down in cold blood.
Moments later, a gang of soldiers are seen grabbing the civilian’s lifeless body and dragging him away into the trees nearby.
The drone operator, a member of the Ukrainian territorial defence force in Kyiv, said a woman and child were also travelling in the car and were subsequently taken captive by the Russian forces.
The slaughtering of civilians, particularly those who do not pose a threat, is considered a war crime under international humanitarian law.
The car is heading towards Kyiv, but upon seeing a Russian tank and a group of soldiers parked by the side of the road (pictured), the driver makes a rapid U-turn, before braking and coming to a stop
Yet Russian authorities continue to insist that their forces have only targeted strategic military locations and are not waging war on the civilian population of Ukraine.
The civilian’s execution took place mere yards from another car, which appears to have been abandoned on the road outside a petrol station on the E40 expressway west of Kyiv after sustaining damage.
The silver car was later towed away and burnt according to the Ukrainian drone operator, who gave his name only as ‘Zanoza’ and explained he was tasked with using the Mavic III drone to observe Russian tank positions.
The shocking incident took place outside the petrol station located a mere 10 miles from the towns of Irpin and Bucha.
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