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SBU accuses Russian commander of giving order to shoot at civilians in Kyiv Oblast

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 1, 2023 12:17 AM 3 min read
Police officers search a car next to a woman's body that was found in a car shot by Russian forces on a roadside on April 6, 2022, in Bucha, Ukraine. Hundreds of bodies were found in the days since Ukrainian forces regained control of the town. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) reported on Aug. 31 that it had identified another Russian serviceman involved in the massacre of civilians in Kyiv Oblast.

Vadim Ovchinnikov, senior lieutenant and the commander of a reconnaissance platoon, told his subordinates to shoot at a family trying to evacuate from the village of Severynivka near Bucha, according to the SBU.

Ovchinnikov’s unit, part of Russia’s 36th Combined Arms Army of the Eastern Military District, was reportedly directly involved in capturing Severynivka, Motyzhyn, and Kopyliv in the Bucha district.

Wheelchair-bound Bucha resident on surviving Russian occupation: ‘I hope no one will have to live through this’
BUCHA, Kyiv Oblast – When Russian forces turned an ordinary residential road in Bucha into a battlefield, wheelchair-bound Liudmyla Usenka, 69, was alone at home in the darkness. With a look of horror on her face, Usenka told the Kyiv Independent about the never-ending sounds of shelling and heavy…

During the month-long occupation, the commander and his subordinates traveled around the settlements in armored vehicles “to intimidate residents,” the SBU wrote.

On one of those raids in early March last year, Ovchinnikov allegedly ordered to open fire at two civilian cars moving towards their vehicle.

The investigation revealed that the shooting had killed a couple and their 15-year-old daughter on the spot, with another daughter aged nine having managed to survive. The family was trying to leave Severynivka for Uman, Cherkasy Oblast, according to the law enforcement agency.

Uncovering the scope of the Bucha massacre
BUCHA, Kyiv Oblast – As Ukraine recaptured the town of Bucha, the world saw the extent of the violence Russian soldiers inflicted on the civilian population. Since the Russian forces were driven out of Kyiv Oblast, 412 bodies have been found in the town’s streets, buildings and mass graves as

The SBU charged Ovchinnikov and his five subordinates with violating the laws and customs of war combined with intentional murder in absentia.

“Comprehensive measures are underway to fairly punish Russian war criminals, regardless of their location,” the SBU added.

Bucha, a small city near Kyiv, was occupied by Russian troops shortly after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022. After it was liberated, mass graves were discovered, and thousands of war crimes were documented.

Bucha massacre survivors: ‘Why do Russians hate us so much?’
BUCHA, Kyiv Oblast – Just a bit over a month ago, Bucha was a comfortable, cozy, and rapidly growing suburb just northwest of Kyiv. The town was a place of middle-class apartment complexes and houses, surrounded by woods. Today, Bucha is a synonym of horror known worldwide. Russia’s defeat in
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