A mayor of a village in Ukraine was kidnapped, executed and then dumped along with her husband and son in a forest by Russian forces, Ukrainian officials have claimed. Chilling satellite images revealed a 45-foot-long trench where a mass grave was dug in Bucha on the outskirts of Kyiv after killings widely condemned as "genocide."
Olga Sukhenko, the mayor of Motyzhyn, a suburban community just outside Kyiv, and her husband and son were kidnapped by invading Russian troops on March 23, according to Ukrainian officials. The horrors began to unfold after Putin's forces retreated from the Kyiv region and returned to Belarus.
According to Ukrainian officials, the fate of the Sukhenko and her family was unknown till their bodies were discovered on Saturday in a shallow grave behind houses that Russian soldiers had used as makeshift barracks.
A fourth body was discovered, but it has yet to be identified. According to reports, they were tortured before being shot. "They tortured and murdered the whole family of the village head," said Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the Ukrainian interior ministry.
"The occupiers suspected they were collaborating with our military, giving us locations of where to target our artillery. These scum tortured, slaughtered and killed the whole family," he said, naming Sukhenko, her husband, Ihor Sukhenko, and their son, Oleksandr.
The victims were discovered in a shallow grave in a woodland near a farm that had been almost completely demolished, just outside Motyzhyn, by a Reuters reporter. One of those buried in the sand had his head taped. It is not known if it was the mayor or any of her family members.
Iryna Vereshchuk, Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister, also confirmed the mayor's death, stating she was one of 11 mayors and community leaders kidnapped by Russians across Ukraine.
Russia's Atrocities Continue
Sukhenko and her family were among the at least 410 individuals whose remains were removed from Kyiv-area communities in a "genocide," according to President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In Bucha, near Kyiv, Putin's butchers reportedly killed tethered civilians and left bodies strewn over the street. Booby-trapped bodies and mined residences are also claimed to have been left by the retreating Russian forces.
Satellite images on Monday showed a 45-foot-long trench excavated into the grounds of a Ukrainian church where a mass grave was discovered 20 miles from Motyzhyn in the Kyiv district Bucha, where terrible scenes of dead abandoned in the street emerged.
There have also been allegations of women being raped and children being "mutilated" by Kremlin soldiers. "All these people were shot," Bucha mayor Anatoly Fedoruk said, adding that 280 more dead had been buried in mass graves throughout the city.
Wladimir Klitschko, a boxing star, shared a video from Bucha on Twitter showing citizens "shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs."
According to one allegation from nearby Irpin, Russian death squads shot women and girls before driving tanks over them. In the recently liberated settlement of Dmytrivka, more than 1,500 bombs were discovered in one day, according to rescue services.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, told CBS News: "They are mining all this territory. Houses are mined, equipment is mined, even the bodies of dead people. This is genocide. The elimination of the whole nation and the people."
The sickening scenes also led to other world leaders on Monday declaring it clear genocide.