Russian warship Moskva sinks in Black Sea, Russian Ministry of Defense reported via state media


Olga Yavon speaks with CNN about her boys Igor, 32, and Oleg, 33, among six of the village's young men who authorities say were executed by Russian soldiers on February 27.
Olga Yavon speaks with CNN about her boys Igor, 32, and Oleg, 33, among six of the village’s young men who authorities say were executed by Russian soldiers on February 27. (CNN)

without discernment massacres of civilians trying to escape the violence. The victims found with their hands tied behind their back. An attack on a maternitya theater turned into a bombed-out shelter. The list of apparent atrocities and war crimes allegedly committed by Russian troops in Ukraine grows daily.

As Ukrainians retake areas previously occupied by Russian invaders, evidence of the horrors of recent weeks is emerging from the rubble of destroyed villages and towns. New victims are discovered daily. And those lucky enough to survive the ordeal tell harrowing stories of kidnapping, rape and torture.

Iryna Venediktova, Ukraine’s attorney general, said Monday that her office was investigating 5,800 cases of alleged Russian war crimes, with “more and more” cases being opened every day.

Russia has denied war crimes allegations and says its forces do not target civilians. But CNN reporters on the ground in Ukraine have seen direct evidence of atrocities in multiple locations across the country.

Here’s CNN’s Clarissa Ward report from the ground up:

Novyi and Staryi Bykiv are two tiny dots on the map, separated by a small stream. Together, they form a sleepy community of around 2,000 people that few Ukrainians – let alone the Russian military – know.

Katerina Andrusha told me that’s why her daughter Victoria decided to leave her flat in the kyiv suburb of Brovary and come back here at the start of the war; she thought it would be safer at home.

But on February 27, residents say Russian forces arrived in nearby villages, turned the local school into their base, vandalized and looted homes and terrorized people here for five weeks.

On March 25, Katerina said Russian soldiers came to her house and took Victoria away, saying she had information about their forces on her phone.

Three days later, Katerina herself was captured. She said she was detained in a cellar for three days. Blindfolded and terrified, she tried to find out what had happened to her daughter.

“They told me she was in a warm home and working with them and would be home soon,” Katerina said.

She said she hadn’t seen Victoria since. As she spoke to us, Katerina’s gaze shot up to the sky in disbelief. She showed us pictures of her daughter, a beautiful teacher.

“We’re hoping she gets in touch with someone, somewhere,” she said.

A few blocks away, we met another mother. Olga Yavon’s pain was raw and consuming. She knew why we were there and the moment she came out to greet us she burst into tears.

Her boys, Igor, 32, and Oleg, 33, are among six young men from the village who authorities say were executed by Russian soldiers on February 27.

She told us that Russian forces rounded them up after a nearby bridge blew up.

The Russians held their bodies for nine days before dumping them on the outskirts of the village, with instructions to bury them quickly, she said.

“They were very good boys,” Olga said. “How I long to see them again.”

Read more first-hand accounts of atrocities in Ukraine here.



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