Bucha Resident Recounts Brutal Execution of Her Husband
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the lives of many
[Bucha, Ukraine] As Russia’s war on Ukraine enters its third month, some residents living near the capital, Kyiv, are returning to their towns and villages, only to be shocked at the scenes left behind by retreating Russian soldiers.
The fiercest fighting took place in Irpin, Bucha, Borodyanka and Hostomel, as well as in the surrounding villages of the Kyiv region that Ukraine recaptured from withdrawing Russian troops earlier this month.
The town of Bucha sits northwest of Kyiv; it bore the brunt of Russia’s relentless and indiscriminate shelling. But the Ukrainian soldiers and volunteers valiantly defended it and nearby towns, forcing the Russian troops to withdraw, but not before leaving behind a ravaged town, and scenes of death and devastation.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has changed the lives of many.
They are beasts, they are not humans. To drag the man out of his house and shoot him in the head? You tell this story to everyone; you show how they’ve liberated us. They’ve liberated us from everything, we have nothing now.
Iryna Abramova, a resident of Bucha, describes her harrowing experience with the Russian military. She told The Media Line how Russian troops last month came to the house where she lived with her husband, Oleg; her father, Volodymyr, lived on the other side of the shared house.
She said when Russian soldiers threw a grenade at her house, she heard a big explosion and much of the house was destroyed, so she and her husband hid in her father’s part of the house.
“My husband shouted that we are civilians and asked them not to shoot,” she said. They were terrified as a Russian soldier screamed at them to come out of the house with their hands up.
“Why are you hiding?” the soldiers asked.
“We are scared, because you shoot,” the couple responded.
“Don’t you see that we are Russians, we have St. George ribbons, we came to liberate you. Who else is hiding with you?” the soldiers asked.
Clutching her husband’s arm, Iryna Abramova replied: “There are only three of us.”
The Russian soldiers then screamed at them, asking where are the “Nazis,” she said, adding that she told the soldiers: “There are no Nazis here.”
Their house was ablaze from the grenade and Oleg ran to put out the fire, but he was blocked by the soldiers.
Abramova says they took her husband outside of their home, stripped him of his sweatshirt, tied his hands behind his back, and forced him to his knees. The Russian soldiers then shot her husband in the back of his head, execution style. She pointed to dark blood stains frozen on the sidewalk, which still had not seeped into the ground or evaporated, evidence of what had taken place.
“They blew off half of his head with a direct shot,” Abramova said.
She said she ran in the direction of her husband, who was lying in a pool of his own blood, but she was stopped by a soldier.
“He aimed his gun at me. I had a cat in my lap, and I told him to shoot both me and my cat,” she said. The soldier replied: “We don’t shoot women.”
Fighting back tears, Abramova said the soldier walked up to her three times and each time aimed his gun at her head.
“We came to liberate you, since all of you here are bastards. You and your authorities that you brought to power. We have to eliminate all of you, since you are evil,” she says the soldier told her.
Agitated, the soldiers then gave them three minutes to “get out of here or we’ll kill you,” before her father intervened and pulled her away.
“We left the house without taking anything. We left without documents, without money. They ordered us to leave,” she said.
Abramova and her father couldn’t bury her husband, so they brought him inside their yard to wait until Ukrainian soldiers came to take the body away.
“I do not want him to be buried in the mass grave. They said they’d take him to Kyiv. I don’t even have any documents. Everything has burned down,” she said.
For a while, Abramova and her father moved in with one of their neighbors, but they moved out because they ran out of food.
Right now, they live next door to their destroyed house in the home of her aunt.
After her husband’s murder, Russian troops were stationed outside the burned-out house, and Abramova said they did not allow them to get water from their well.
“My father went to the well one day and they started shooting at the ground in front of him,” she said, adding that the soldiers told her they “can’t have water.”
“Our guys are dying here, and you came to get water,” they yelled, according to Abramova.
Oleg was a welder, Abramova said, and he “didn’t even serve in the army, he has never held a gun in his hands. Why?”
“They are beasts, they are not humans. To drag the man out of his house and shoot him in the head? You tell this story to everyone; you show how they’ve liberated us. They’ve liberated us from everything, we have nothing now. And the main thing, I have no husband anymore,” Abramova said.