When Russia attacked Ukraine we found ourselves in a new reality, we had no idea back then how twisted and perverted that new reality is. Now we know. It is hard, almost impossible to stay in the right mind after seeing the pictures and videos that the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has revealed to show what Russian soldiers did in Bucha, Irpin and Gostomel. It was peaceful and rich cities that are just 20-25 kilometres from Kyiv.
The pictures show dead bodies of civilians that are scattered around the streets. Most of the male victims were deliberately shot in the head. It was not collateral damage from the shelling. A lot of corpses were found with hands tied behind their back with signs of torture.
Numerous naked bodies of young women were found with clear signs of rape. A 33-year-old woman, who wished to stay anonymous for obvious reasons, told that drunk Russian soldiers killed her husband before raping her in front of her son.
“They told me he was a scum, dirt and nazi, that is why they killed him. They put a gun to my head and ordered me to undress. My four-year-old son was crying in the basement while they were raping me taking turns. When they fell asleep I managed to grab my son and escape into the woods.”
Ukrainian journalist Yevhen Spirin who was in the liberated areas with the Ukrainian army said: “Some children's bodies were found with hands tied. They tied children before killing them. They killed women and pets. They raped girls, aged under ten-year-old. They were found with internal organs ripped off. How do we keep living? Does it even worth keeping on living? How do we explain this?”
Great Britain's ambassador to Ukraine, Melinda Simmons said: “Rape is a weapon of war. Though we don’t yet know the full extent of its use in Ukraine, it’s already clear it was part of the Russian arsenal. Women were raped in front of their kids, girls in front of their families, as a deliberate act of subjugation. Rape is a war crime”.
Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said: “The world should pay attention to the crimes against humanity committed by Russian troops in Bucha, Irpin and Gostomel. These liberated cities look like they are from an apocalyptic horror movie. Russian soldiers raped and killed Ukrainians in the occupied cities. Ukrainian lawmakers will document every crime and will find the ones accountable.”
Minister of foreign affairs Dmytro Kuleba said: “Bucha massacre was deliberate. Russians aim to eliminate as many Ukrainians as they can. We must stop them and kick them out. I demand new devastating G7 sanctions NOW.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave an emotional speech talking about the events: “What city of Bucha could have possibly done to Russia? What did a man riding a cycle do? Why did you torture civilians to death? Why did you smother women to death after tearing earrings from their ears? How one could rape women and kill them in front of their children? How did all this become possible?”
Now as a nation, Ukrainians found ourselves entrapped with hard questions to which there are no easy or even sane answers. Somehow we need to stay sane and stay humans no matter what…