Ukrainian Authorities Catalog War Crimes Committed By Russia

Footage of Russian troops shooting a man surrendering on the highway outside Ukraine was shared on social media in late February, resulting in condemnation across the world against Russia's war crimes during the invasion.

BBC's Jeremy Bowen was tasked with covering the gruesome aftermath of war crimes committed around Kiev and outside the capitol, he reported seeing 13 bodies riddled with bullets outside the capitol between Mria and Myla, villages whose names translated to English means “Dream and Sweetheart respectively”.

Two of the 13 were confirmed as Ukrainians who were killed by Russian soldiers, but the other 11 have yet to be identified being labelled as John and Jane Does for the time being.

The two were able to be identified by their dog-tags, and the fact they were still wearing Ukrainian army uniforms.

As Ukrainian forces recapture various villages north of Kiev, Russians are implementing a scorched earth policy, leaving near unidentifiable bodies in their wake.

The Russians have been using scorched earth tactics since the Soviet era, most prominently during Vietnam against the US and South Vietnamese forces via the Viet Cong, and the intervention in Soviet Afghanistan against the Mujahideen in the 80's.

Some questions regarding the identities of the victims of Russian war crimes were answered via clues Sherlock Holmes would check.

On March 7th the bodies of a married couple killed by Russian forces was found by a gas station, chard and mangled beyond immediate identification along with their burnt out car.

Though the car's plates were illegible, the male corpse still had his wedding ring.

Seeing the engravings, authorities were able to trace the wedding ring's origin by asking for who had the engravings done, and through the jewelry company who made them were able to identify the couple.

Maksim and Ksjena Lowenko, their deaths were caught by a Ukrainian drone that morning, being shot by Russian soldiers and set ablaze.

The footage captured shows their car in a convoy encountering a Russian tank whilst fleeing Kiev, the others were able to flee but their car was hit by the tank.

Ksjena was killed instantly and Maksim was thrown from the car, he raised his hands to surrender but was immediately struck down by machine gun fire, before soldiers took his wallet and burned the bodies and car.

Also in that car was the couple's six year old son and his friend's mum, both were allowed to live.

His friend's mother said that: “We were only allowed to live as messengers to tell what happens to those who defy Russia”.

They were both found walking back to Kiev, alive but deeply traumatized.

Russian forces have attempted to hide the war crimes committed on civilians and surrendering Ukrainian soldiers, often by leaving them to rot, hiding them in the trunks of cars, burning them, dumping them in the fields and woods, piling tires on them, burred in shallow mass graves, dissolved in acid, and covering them in lime.

The tank involved in the incident was found burnt out after being hit with an anti tank missile days later, Ukrainian soldiers found a wallet on one of the dead men inside.

Inside they found his army papers, Russian rubles, and Belarusian coins.

Indicating the tank was likely apart of the Russian northern offensive that came from Belarus, Russia's ally.

The horrifying scenes on the road were more than terrible deaths, but were crime scenes.

The evidence collected will be preserved for war crime investigators.  

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