Ukrainian woman says Russian soldiers fatally shot her husband in the head after asking him for cigarettes: Amnesty report

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A protester holds up photos of murdered civilians in the Kiev suburb of Bucha during a demonstration against the Russian invasion of Berlin, Germany on April 6, 2022.Sean Gallup/Getty Images

  • A new Amnesty report says Russia has extrajudicially executed civilians in Ukraine.

  • The report is based on interviews with more than 20 people, including witnesses.

  • A woman said Russian soldiers shot her husband to death after asking him for cigarettes.

A new Amnesty International report says Russian soldiers have extrajudicially executed civilians in Ukraine, based on interviews with more than 20 people from towns and cities near Kiev, including those who directly witnessed “horrific violence perpetrated by Russian troops.” “.

“We have gathered evidence that Russian troops have committed extrajudicial killings and other unlawful killings, which should be investigated as possible war crimes,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general.

“Testimonials show that unarmed civilians in Ukraine are being killed in their homes and streets in acts of unspeakable brutality and shocking brutality,” Callamard added. “The intentional killing of civilians is a violation of human rights and a war crime. These deaths must be thoroughly investigated and those responsible prosecuted, including in the chain of command.”

A 46-year-old woman from the village of Bohdanivka, who for security reasons is not mentioned in the report, told Amnesty that on the evening of March 9 she and other family members – her husband, 10-year-old daughter and mother-in-law – heard shooting through their lower windows. They yelled at the Russian troops that they were unarmed civilians, according to her story. After they got downstairs, two Russian soldiers who entered the house pushed them into the boiler room.

“They forced us in and slammed the door. After just a minute they opened the door, they asked my husband if he had any cigarettes. He said no, he hadn’t smoked for a few weeks. They shot him in the right arm The other said, ‘Finish him,’ and they shot him in the head,” she said.

She continued: “He didn’t die right away. From 9:30 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. he was still breathing, although he was not conscious. I begged him… ‘If you can hear me, please move your finger.’ He didn’t move his finger, but I put his hand on my knee and squeezed it. Blood poured out of him. When he took his last breath, I turned to my daughter and said, “Looks like daddy died.” †

A neighbor confirmed the story, telling Amnesty that he had seen Russian troops break into the house and the husband’s body “slumped in the corner of the boiler room,” according to the report. The woman and her daughter were able to leave the village, but the woman’s 81-year-old mother-in-law was unable to flee due to limited mobility.

Another woman, Kateryna Tkachova, 18, from the village of Vorzel, told Amnesty that on March 3 she heard Russian troops open fire on her unarmed parents while she was hiding in the basement. Tkachova said she saw tanks rolling down her street marked with the letter Z, a symbol the Russian military has used to mark its vehicles in Ukraine.

“After the tanks were over, I jumped over the fence to the neighbor’s house. I wanted to see if they were still alive. I looked over the fence and saw my mother lying on her back on one side of the road, and my father was lying face down on the other side of the street I saw big holes in his coat The next day I went to them My father had six big holes in his back my mother had a smaller hole in her chest ,” Tkachova said.

Russia is widely accused of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Earlier this week, President Joe Biden called for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes.

“You may remember that I was criticized for calling Putin a war criminal,” Biden told reporters on Monday. “Well, the truth is you saw what happened in Bucha… He’s a war criminal. But we have to collect the information.’

It can take years to investigate and prosecute war crimes, and experts say it would be extremely difficult to bring Putin to justice and impose any sanctions.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of genocide after it was discovered that hundreds of civilians had been killed in the recently recaptured Kiev suburb of Bucha. From Bucha came horrific images, including corpses scattered on the streets and dead people with gunshot wounds and their hands tied behind their backs.

Russia denied any involvement in the Bucha massacre, while at the same time pushing conspiracy theories that the disturbing images of the dead were fabricated.

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