"We found his body without his head": Rita, whose husband was tortured and killed by Russian soldiers, testifies

While the Ukrainian General Prosecutor’s Office lists more than 47,000 war crimes, international organizations continue to investigate crimes that may have been committed in the regions occupied and then liberated by the Russians. As part of a report devoted to this theme, BFM TV met Rita who lives in a small village in the Kherson region. During their interview, Rita explained that she left when the war broke out but her nephew and her husband stayed. A few months later, they decided to flee the village.

“On June 18, my husband called me. He told me that with my nephew they were going to try to flee the village to join me. ?’ and he told me he was going to take the picture of our two sons. And the next day, I don’t know why, I felt something was wrong. I started calling him at 7 hours in the morning but he had no network. He wouldn’t pick up. All day, we waited for them. We hoped that they would arrive. They were supposed to join us on the Ukrainian side. But nothing.”

Rita continues her testimony in a trembling voice. “At the end of September, the Ukrainian soldiers cleared the forest and that’s where they found the bodies. We spent two and a half months looking for them. Residents of the village explained to me that they saw the Russians beat my husband and my nephew at the first checkpoint and then at the second. When they arrived on the Ukrainian side, they killed them. My husband was found without his head. Another body was found next to it with arms and the legs were broken. The skull was completely smashed. I said to myself, ‘why did they suffer this abuse, these peaceful people?’ “Why were they humiliated and tortured like this? I don’t understand why. I would like there to be a punishment, to find out who did this. But I don’t know if it’s possible.”

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