Kador Group




EXCLUSIVE War in Ukraine War Crimes Kyiv

Bucha, 2 Years After the Massacre

Kyiv Post visited the Kyiv suburb that witnessed the horrors of Russian occupation at the beginning of its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

For some, it may be difficult to imagine that Yablunska Street, a quiet street in the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, only two years ago was strewn with bodies.

It was here that Russian occupation forces carried out “zachistka” – or cleansing. They went door to door, taking away at gunpoint anyone deemed to be “a threat.”

At the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the Russians quickly took control of the affluent Kyiv suburb.

And from Feb. 27 to March 31, Ukraine alleges, they committed over 9,000 war crimes – including kidnappings and rape, torture and murder.

A Wall of Remembrance has since been erected, bearing the names of 509 people murdered in Bucha – including 37 children.

Bucha was the first – but not the last, or even the largest – place that Ukraine would liberate and discover mass graves and torture sites.

A lot has changed since Bucha’s liberation. Much has been repaired, rebuilt, and modernized.

This is how it looked in 2022.

Photo by AFP

And what it looks like now.

But for many locals, the terror of what they underwent remains fresh in their minds. Bullet holes remain in the side of a supply depot that was the sight of a group execution.

Locals created a small memorial here. It’s kept clean and tidy.

Sometimes, the Russians seemed to kill for no reason or barely a reason. This was the case with Bucha resident Serhii Zheludkov’s friend.

“He went to the street from his yard, and a Russian BMP [the “Boevaya Mashina Pekhoty” infantry fighting vehicle] was passing by. Soldiers signaled for him to go back to his house, and he refused. They killed him instantly,” Zheludkov told Kyiv Post.

Nearly, everyone on Yablunska Street has a friend, relative or acquaintance who was murdered during the Russian occupation.

“One man who I knew personally was helping people with water and food because we had nothing. He was driving around the area in his car, finding stuff. They wanted him to stop doing this because they were afraid he was searching for their positions and locations and could inform the Ukrainian army. So they shot him one morning,” Tetyana Chornohorets told Kyiv Post.

The Russians broke through her fence and took over her house on Yablunska Street, only 500 meters from the site of a mass execution.

“They lived in our house, put us in the cellar, and took us out twice to be shot. They asked me ‘Where is Zelensky?’ What a ridiculous question. How can I, a villager, know where Zelensky is? I’m not his mother.’ They said ‘No, we don’t believe you, you know everything because you’re Ukrainians. You’re animals. You’re fascists. You were killing our guys in Donbas…’ One of them, from Kadyrov’s forces, ordered that we be shot, we were standing to the side and heard everything,” Chornohorets said, who was able to leave Bucha during a March 9 “humanitarian corridor.”

The family was saved when someone decided to cancel the order for reasons unknown.

Richard Bachynsky, a Ukrainian-born Canadian who’s lived in Bucha for the last 10 years, witnessed the initial defense of the suburb, as the Russians advanced.

“We could hear the battle going in the distance getting closer and closer and closer… Then the bridges got blown and we were trapped. We couldn’t get out of here. We had no car and thank God we didn’t have a car at the time because we might’ve got shot…In the morning I went over here, and the Bucha Varta guys, friends of mine – they’re defenders of the city – and there were about 15 of them and volunteers. Because we had no help, we had no ammunition, nothing...A friend of mine, Petro, he’s an [ex-colonel] in the army, he threw a Molotov over here at a BTR and destroyed it, right over here where my son went to school,” he said, gesturing toward the spot.

Then the Russians started shooting people indiscriminately, Bachynsky said.

“What happened over here, I didn’t see, it but I found out through other security guards that I’ve known over the years…They said that the security guard was shot in the back by a Russian, because they tried to escape and get underground in the basement, and he couldn’t, he couldn’t make it. So they shot him in the back and killed him,” Bachynsky said, gesturing behind him to the left.

“And a taxi driver too, that I’d known for years, parked outside every day – really nice guy, named Vasya – I found out when I came back from Canada and Poland when we evacuated [Bachynsky evacuated Bucha on the March 9 humanitarian corridor] that they took his life too and he was shot by a BTR or a tank and burnt alive in his taxi. The guy that he was helping in his car, escaped…”

Photo by Richard Bachynsky

Bachynsky gestured behind himself, to the right.

“A lady over here, behind this building here, she was hit...She was bringing water to help somebody.”

Then he pointed directly to his right.

 “Another young lady that serves coffee, she was shot in the leg over there in the park.”

Bucha residents like Bachysnky had trouble finding food. They scavenged wherever they could.

Bachynsky would make scavenging runs and share the food. One time, he helped make a little girl’s birthday better.

“She had nothing for her birthday, this little girl, and [they were] singing happy birthday. And I said, ‘You got no cake?’”  Bachysnky said, who recalled a pack of donuts he’d scavenged from McDonald’s. He brought it down for the children. 

“And that was her birthday cake. And you could hear the artillery, and the ground shake from artillery and missiles being hit in Bucha and Hostomel and so on.”

Bachysnky said that the birthday girl was frightened by the booming sound of the artillery.

“I said, ‘They’re celebrating your birthday. Don’t you worry about that. Everybody’s celebrating your birthday today.’ And they had their donuts. So to me, that’s a moment that I’ll never forget.”

But making these kinds of trips was dangerous.

“I brought out a last load [from McDonald’s] and two Russians came out behind here with guns and they chased me.  And I just had a little bit in my arms and I ran into the building. My knee was torn out from carrying a lot of luggage down the steps…but I pushed, pushed as hard as I could to get out of there. I went into an alleyway around behind the building. They were at this side, so there was probably – oh I’d say 80, 80 meters or 70 meters between us – and I was close to the alleyway near our meat store…and I went into my door. So, if they had come into the alleyway they would be confused about it, you know there’s about six doors, entrances, different buildings. So I got away. But I thought I was gonna take it in the back and that was the end of my life. I mean, I was just, I was seeing death as I was running.”

Memorial posters in Bucha now display some of those who died attempting to defend it.  

 “This is Volodymyr Kovalsky,” Bachysnky said, gesturing at a memorial poster behind him to the right. “He had two prosthetic legs. Veteran of the ATO [Anti-Terrorist Operations], superhero of Ukraine. Warrior. He fought back even with the prosthetic legs. I met him when he came back from the war zone, from ATO, from the Donbas, and we became friends. I found out about his death when I came back…He took up arms and fought back but the Russians took him down. He was a real hero.”

Then Bachysnky gestured to his left.

“And here, Ihor Dziadkivsky, my very good friend. Funniest guy in the world. Good kickboxer,” he said.

“We became friends here, we recalled each other [at the Euromaidan Revolution in 2014], he took an Igla [a Russian/Soviet surface-to-air missile]. They had no other weapons. He said, ‘I’m gonna go, I want to take out a tank by myself. So he went tank hunting. He really wanted to take out a Russian tank. It’s possible that he did. I hope that he did. But he died in action. They found him tied up, hands behind his back. Executed. Shot in the back of his head,” Bachynsky said.  

Along with Bucha, the Russians occupied cottage towns nearby, like Vorzel, a rural village. Vira Hoychuk, a doctor, couldn’t escape. Russian soldiers came into her home.

“He asked me, ‘Why do all the people call them occupiers?’ I answered, ‘Look, I had to get my children to school and be at work in my clinic. But I’m here, in a half-ruined house, with no gas, no electricity, it is prohibited to walk the street because of your snipers, any of you can kill me, rape me or my children, and bear no punishment for this.’ He thought for a little and agreed with me,” Hoychuk said.

Hoychuk was ordered to wear a white ribbon.

“They said to wear it. It’s a sign that this civilian is checked. If you didn’t wear it, they would shoot you. At first, I didn’t wear it, because I’m thinking, ‘I’m not in a concentration camp.’ So they told me that a lot of their mates were not so kind as them. And they could shoot me any time they wanted. After that, I started wearing it,” Hoychuk said.  

Hoychuk said that the Russians killed five of her neighbors.

On March 31, 2022, the Ukrainian army liberated Bucha and the surrounding areas. Hoychuk and both of her children survived the occupation and have repaired their home. The city of Bucha has been mostly rebuilt and many of the residents that evacuated have returned. They try to live normal lives though the trauma of their experience may never leave them.

Comments (5)
Jamie Moffat
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Unbelievable...this brought me to tears..we are so lucky in the west to know peace and take it for granted. I am presently unemployed and badly hurt my shoulder falling on the ice but this is nothing compared to what these people experience every day. I will continue to support this cause
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.


True the Biden government could have been less timid in giving Ukraine the best weapons. However putinrump would have been so much worse. He says he won't provide a penny of support to Ukraine. He got impeached for election plotting with russia and also blocking attempts to investigate his trying to blackmail Ukraine over congress approved USA aid. He also actually met privately with putin 17 times during his term. He was the first president ever that met privately with an active US enemy. He also did this with Kim Jung Un. Who knows what they were plotting? Many of his former White House appointees comment he is the biggest threat to democracy.

Regarding your oil production misdirection, US oil output has risen to a historical high under the Biden government to an average of 12.8 million barrels per day. He plans to maintain that over his term to fight inflationary pressures. For context, that’s about 500k more barrels per day the record set by Trump in 2019.

Biden basically spent all he was allowed to on weaponizing Ukraine and is now at congress's mercy to get more aid approved. Meanwhile putinrump has told his MRGA minions in the US House to stall the $60 billion Ukraine aid package the bipartisan Senate approved.
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

There definitely needs to be more attention given to the plight of Ukrainians, these stories of the Russian invasion are harrowing to say the least.

This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

@SMC, SMC, Bucha was two years ago. Russia has not been held accountable and not faced any consequences for their heinous acts of inhumane terrorism. This world has gone to hell. Had George Herbert Walker Bush been in the White House, he would have been at the United Nations to call for Russia's removal from the Security Council and for the placement of actual economic sanctions on Russia and any country that violated those sanctions. We have a weak, senile, feckless illegitimate President currently occupying the White House who engineered this invasion by stifling the United States dominant production of oil and gas. That resulted in world oil prices skyrocketing from around $35 to $45 a barrel to nearly $100 a barrel enriching Russia with the monies that are funding this war.

This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.


Well documented false content from russia’s network of propaganda spewing websites all:

* Bash President Biden or praise particularly Donald Trump whose statements directly align with the Kremlin’s interests ( why would that be.....duh).

* Insult all other Ukraine supporters.
* Have a standard set of narratives justifying russia's its full-scale invasion and war against Ukraine: fakes narratives about “Nazis in Ukraine,” and “self-defense” against “NATO’s eastward expansion.” 

* Claim that Russia will inevitably win and defeat Ukraine. 
* Blame the West and NATO for all the world's troubles. 

* Criticize mainstream media in an attempt to discredit it and improve sowing putins' disinformation

* Promote conspiracy theories and disseminating the opinions of “pseudo-experts” about the decline and imminent fall of the United States, the European Union, and the Western world

* Positively cover and even encourage protests in Europe and other democratic nations.
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

Jesus Christ. My comment 8 hours ago is the only comment? Pathetic.
This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.

United Bations after the revelations of Bucha? Crickets.
What a worthless joke for a world organization.

This comment contains spoilers. Click here if you want to read.


HI MRGA troll jack:

Even in those fleeting moments when it makes the right resolutions in the general assembly, the UN can't uphold any important ones when an instigator of illegal activities holds VETO rights in the UN Security Council (the enforcement side of UN).

It was a nice thought, but it certainly no longer works.

So I propose in the interim that the allies redirect their UN Security forces funding (and allocated equipment) to Ukraine; where it can most certainly be put to good use.