Sergueï Matuk’s van has yet to complete its creepy mission.Behind the windshield, a sign with the inscription “Cargo 200”which means the van is transporting the body— “Cargo 300”It’s for the injured. After the withdrawal of the Russian army, Sergey and his two male comrades have been collecting the remains of the dead in Busa.
The town, located in the Kyiv metropolitan area northwest of the Ukrainian capital, has been occupied by Russian troops since the last of Moscow’s soldiers marched north at dawn on March 31, three days after the outbreak of the war, on February 27. But over the past five days, Ukrainian forces have found the largest number of civilians killed in weeks of war among cities in the Kyiv region.
Towns in the northwest suburbs were devastated. Irpine, Boutcha, Vorzel or Hostomel were at the heart of the battle to conquer the Ukrainian capital, which ended with Russia’s defeat and withdrawal.From the first day of the war, 24 February, the attack on the Antonov airfield in Khostomele continued for five weeks until the “liberation” The Ukrainian government announced on April 2 that fighting in the region was intense.
The most damaged place was undoubtedly Irpin, the first line of Ukrainian defense, which was heavily bombed by Moscow troops. Russian troops entered it several times, nearly conquered it by the end of the first week of the war, and then each time had to retreat in the direction of Butcha during the Ukrainian counteroffensive. Near the dividing line between the two cities, surrounded by a river Separated, buildings were destroyed, burned, burned.
According to the Ukrainian government’s first observations, Butcha temporarily maintained a sinister record of the death toll. If theoretically, from a strictly military point of view, these dead – or some of them – could have been victims of shelling by Ukrainian troops defending Kyiv, since Butcha constituted Russia’s front line, it turned out that the great Most of the dead victims were killed by the occupiers.
Serguei Matuk had been collecting the bodies of Butcha residents during the five weeks of the war, so he sat in the front row. He confirmed that it had been collected on behalf of the municipal service, “About 300 people” over time. According to the gravedigger who turned out to be a rescuer, “About 240” Some of them were buried by him in a common grave near St. Andrew’s Church, and the battle was not allowed into the cemetery. Others were either hastily buried in personal graves dug by the residents themselves, or left to their fate until the conflict ended. Boutcha Mayor Anatoly Fedorouk confirmed,“About 280 people were buried in mass graves”.
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