They were shooting everybody, women and children: presbyter from Bucha

The withdrawal of the Russian troops from the Kyiv region led to the discovery of war crimes committed by the invaders – among them was the massacre in Bucha, which shocked the Western world. TVP World’s Don Arleth spoke to Andrii Halavyn, a presbyter from Bucha and witness to the atrocities committed by the Russian army.

Andrii Halavyn stated that people have been dying in Bucha since the first days of the war. “The morgue was full of bodies, but we couldn’t keep it cold because we do not have electricity,” he explained and went on to describe the nature of the Russian offensive: “They shot [civilians] without looking who they were shooting at. There were women and children there, but they killed everyone.”

Halavyn said the matter of burial became quite urgent, as dogs were beginning to bite the bodies. “On March 10, the authorities turned to the church, asking if they could conduct a temporary burial. We agreed. On that day, we dug a huge trench into which all these bodies were brought,” he said, standing in the churchyard near the pit. “On the first day, we buried 67 victims. They lay in the grave nearby to this day.”

More victims were being brought to the site because the cemetery was unreachable, the presbyter explained. “Yesterday, the exhumations began. I saw 30 bodies – 90 percent of them were killed by bullets, not by bombs,” he stressed. With regards to the Russian propaganda, which pushes the narrative that the killings happened after the invaders withdrew from the area, Halavyn commented: “I and other people have video recordings. Mine began on March 13. And so, if this is not true, how could these recordings have been made?”