Ukrainian officials say Russian forces tortured and executed a village mayor and her family

Ukrainian officials and local residents said the mayor of a small town, her husband and son were executed by the invading Russian forces who occupied the area until recently. They said Mayor Olga Sukhenko and her family were shot and thrown into a hole in a forest behind a plot of land with several houses that Russian forces later took over in the town of Mutizen.

Editor’s note: This article includes images of dead bodies that may offend some readers.

Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshuk said on Sunday that Sukhenko and her husband, who were reportedly kidnapped by Russian forces on March 23, were killed “in captivity”.

A resident of the town, which is in an area recently abandoned by Russian forces 31 miles west of Kyiv, told The Associated Press that Russian forces have targeted local officials in an attempt to win over and kill them if they do not cooperate.

The fourth body found in the pit has not been identified but is believed to have been a member of UkraineSecurity forces.

Bodies found in civilian settlements after Ukraine regained control
(Editor’s note: The photo depicts death) Partially covered bodies of Mayor Olga Sukhenko, her husband, son and another man are seen as they were discovered buried in a shallow grave in the woods after Ukrainian forces retook the area from Russian forces in the village of Mutyzin on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, April 4, 2022.

Metin Aktas / Anadolu Agency / Getty

“She was killed by scum, her son and her husband after torturing them,” Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to Ukraine’s Interior Ministry, said in a message posted on the social networking app Telegram.

Associated Press and Reuters reporters saw the bodies of four people who appeared to have been shot at close range and thrown into a pit in Mutizin, and residents at the site confirmed that the mayor and her family were among the victims, bound and blindfolded.

Ukrainian forces paraded the grave in Mutizen to reporters as international outrage over other alleged Russian atrocities in the outskirts of Kyiv grew by the hour. Ukrainian President Volodymy Zelensky visited Bucha on Monday, where he saw first-hand evidence of mass killings allegedly carried out by Russian invaders. A regional official said about 300 civilians were killed in Bucha before Russia withdrew its forces from the town late last week, many of them buried in a shallow mass grave.

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