‘Rape and wanton violence’: Civilians in Andriivka recount Russian occupation
Issued on: 02/05/2022 – 05:06Modified: 02/05/2022 – 05:10
Civilians in Andriivka, a village about 60 kilometres west of Kyiv, are coming to terms with the devastation and trauma they suffered during the month they spent under Russian occupation.
When Russian soldiers first arrived in early March, they expected to be welcomed as liberators. Once they realised that the locals did not want them there, they turned murderous.
“They started to consider us all as enemies,” explained Andriy, who did not wish to share his surname. He left his village a week after the Russians arrived. He returned to find his house looted but intact. His daughter, Yana, can no longer play freely as the ground around her home is mined.
Tatiana remained in her village throughout the occupation. At first, she sheltered in her cellar and then – after her home was burned down – she stayed in a neighbour’s cellar. She described the Russian occupiers as drunk, angry and out of control.
“There were several cases of rape and wanton violence.” said Tatiana.
The bodies of those killed by Russian soldiers were initially buried in their own back gardens by their neighbours, but they have since been moved to the local cemetery.
“They were killed on the 12th of March and on the 14th, we buried them one metre deep,” Lydia Kononenko, a resident of Andriivka, explained. “They tied their hands behind their backs, put them on their knees and shot them in the head. Their faces were blown off.”