Published April 23
A Ukrainian serviceman looks on as workers exhume bodies from a mass grave in Bucha, north-west of Kyiv, on April 14, 2022. French forensic doctors have arrived in Ukraine to help investigate the discovery of scores of bodies in civilian clothing scattered in Bucha and other towns around Kyiv after Russia’s withdrawal from the region. Ukraine says it has discovered 1,222 bodies in Bucha and other towns. (Photo by Sergei SUPINSKY / AFP)
Photo by AFP
Day 58 of the war in Ukraine. A lot has changed during this time. In particular, the deployment of hostilities. The enemy has left Kyiv Region. In addition, some border regions have been partially liberated. However, there are places that are still under occupation. And as our president said in his address to Ukrainians “The enemy should not be underestimated. Our victories are not in their weakness, but in our strength.”
Still, I want to focus on Kyiv Region, because that’s what I saw with my own eyes. These are burned, destroyed, shelled houses. These are killed, tortured people. These are piles of garbage and dirt. This is Russian hatefulness. And now I will explain why I consider the Russian military weak. Quite a straightforward example.
Three weeks ago, when the occupiers withdrew from Kyiv, Ukrainians and the world could see the horrors they had committed in those cities, including Bucha, where the bodies of people butchered by orcs are still lying in their backyards. It is impossible to call them otherwise. We’ve all seen pictures of people lying in the roads. We have all read stories about raped children and entire families being tied up and shot. These are all civilians. Who had no weapons. It was easy to inflict pain on them. And show “strength”. If I can call it that.
This week I had the opportunity to go further. Dymerka village, Kyiv Region. It was only partially under occupation. There are also many destroyed houses. There was fighting there between the Ukrainian and Russian militaries in mid-March. The decisive battle took place on March 30. As the locals told me, these creatures drove tanks along the main road of the village and shot at houses. Of course, because houses do not have weapons to fight back.
It was at the end of this road that the Ukrainian military awaited them. They didn’t have tanks, guns, or anything like that. A total of 27 soldiers of the 4th Rifle Company of the 133rd Battalion were armed with submachine guns and hand-held anti-tank grenade launchers. However, they managed to destroy several enemy tanks and drive the occupier out of our land. At the same time, there were no losses on our part.
“If you compare equipment with manpower, these are incompatible things. I have no tanks. I have personnel who defended this area. These are engineers, programmers, computer scientists, drivers. At some point, they became military people. And on March 30, they became super-military. We had a cross battle, that is, on the one hand there was a column of 12-15 tanks, and on the other 4. There were also armored personnel carriers. But we fired at them with handheld grenade launchers. I’m so proud of my fighters. Then the tanks began to flee, but on the outskirts they were still caught by our tank brigade. Some still managed to escape. However, we won. And that is the main thing. Proof of this is scattered, burnt Russian military equipment lying in the village,” the commander of the Buran rifle brigade told me.
And this is the essence of the Russian military. All they can do is injure the weak. Drop rockets and bombs on cities. Rob people. But flee when they see the military.
This is not an isolated story. A similar thing happened in the village of Yasnohorodka. Unfortunately, as a result of the battle there on March 5, five Ukrainian servicemen and one local woman were killed. However, seven Russians were killed and others fled.
The body of one occupier is still lying in the woods on the outskirts of the village. Used condoms lie nearby and a bloodied torn woman’s bra. Our army assumes that this thing belongs to a girl who went missing in the village of Buzova. She has not been found yet.
And in the village of Andriyivka, I visited the basement of a local school, where the Russians made their headquarters. The picture there is a disgusting one. Dirt everywhere, and the ground is smeared with excrement. Decks of cards and used condoms. I hate this. They raped girls. There’s a story like this in almost every village or town, and in some, unfortunately, dozens. Those who survived the occupation say it all depended on the commander. If he gave permission, the military did whatever they wanted. However, to my great surprise, there were commanders who forbade even looting. It’s rare, but it was so.
All these stories can be horrifying. But I went through a stage of horror two weeks ago when I just started driving and was looking at this whole picture with my own eyes. When I saw people with blank stares, graves with dozens of burned and shot people. The shells on each step are torn and not torn. Today, I find myself in the stage of disgust at the Russians. To all of them. Without exception. I can no longer divide them into good and bad. You wouldn’t be able to do that either if so much blood had been shed on your land because of the idea of a stupid, old dwarf.
Unfortunately, the end is still very far away. And many more horrors await us. It would be nice to believe the opposite, but on day 58 of the war our eyes see what they see. But I know that victory is only for us. People feel that Russia is getting weaker. She already has fewer missiles. With time they will end. Everything will end. And maybe one day the sleeping people in Russia will wake up. Unfortunately, it will be too late. It’s already too late.
Published articles: 25
Ukrainian journalist based in Kyiv