The sister of a Ukrainian resistance fighter killed by Russian soldiers at point blank range in Bucha, north of Kyiv, has vowed that her brother’s killers will “answer for their crimes”. The small village of Bucha, 18 miles northwest of Kyiv’s city centre, was one of the worst affected regions at the start of Russia’s invasion, with hundreds of civilians brutally killed and dumped in mass graves as Putin’s soldiers looted the region. Natalya Matviichuk, who only knew her brother had been killed when she saw photos of his corpse online with his hands tied behind his back, has said she wishes for more than just Ukrainian victory in light of her sibling’s death.
Ms Matviichuk told The Sun: “My main wish is for victory. I hope and believe we will win.
“My second wish is for me, for Andriy’s family and for all the people who were killed here — I want justice.
“Either before a court of man, or definitely before God. I swear they will answer for their crimes.”
The last time Ms Matviichuk spoke to her brother before he died, she said he had begged her to evacuate his wife and two children.
As the Russian troops closed in on Bucha within the first few days of the invasion last year, her brother Andriy was desperately concerned for the welfare of his eight and 13-year-old children.
More than 450 bodies — including nine children and 73 civilians — were discovered across Bucha when Russian troops retreated, revealing evidence of their sickening war crimes.
Atrocities included torture, execution and rape. The UN said victims of sexual violence ranged in age from four to 82.
A senior Kyiv forensics official told Express.co.uk that her team had discovered the remains of a seven-year-old girl in Bucha alongside seven different traces of sperm.
Andriy had joined Ukraine’s resistance movement when the first reports of a Russian invasion began.
He was one of at least eight men reportedly shot at point blank range on March 4 in Bucha, just over a week after the invasion.
The group was lined up in an alleyway behind a makeshift Russian base and killed. It is standard practice to capture opposing soldiers as prisoners of war as opposed to killing them.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has called for Nuremberg-style trials for the perpetrators.
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Images of his visit to Bucha once it had been liberated in April went viral as the normally-reticent President looked notably disturbed by what he saw.
Ms Matviichuk added: “I hope no one else in the world will have to experience the same horrors that we have experienced in Bucha, or all over Ukraine — that is why we must win.”
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez became the latest Western leader to visit the small village in the Kyiv region on Thursday.
A trip to Bucha has become a staple of Western officials visiting Kyiv, as it has come to symbolise the horrors of Russia’s invasion.
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