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I witnessed a hellish massacre worse than the horrific rampage in Bucha

War crimes investigators hunting mass graves are feared to have uncovered the worst evidence yet of Russian atrocities in Ukraine.

The bodies of victims who were shot, tortured, mutilated and raped were dug up at four sites in and around the devastated market town of Borodyanka.

The aftermath of the attack on the devastated market town of Borodyanka, with the statue of poet Taras Shevchenko blown up

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The aftermath of the attack on the devastated market town of Borodyanka, with the statue of poet Taras Shevchenko blown upPhoto credit: Avalon.red
Police officer Ivan Symarov (right) poured out his hatred for Putin after a bomb killed his entire family

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Police officer Ivan Symarov (right) poured out his hatred for Putin after a bomb killed his entire familyPhoto credit: Doug Seeburg
Ivan's daughter Polina, two, was still breathing when he returned home after the blast, but the tot tragically died in hospital

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Ivan’s daughter Polina, two, was still breathing when he returned home after the blast, but the tot tragically died in hospitalPhoto credit: Doug Seeburg

Police have already filed more than 1,000 reports and more crimes are expected to be uncovered, dwarfing even the horrific rampage in neighboring Bucha.

Shocked survivors, some of whom lost entire families, told The Sun of their descent into a hell on earth created by Vladimir Putin.

Police Chief Vyacheslav Tsilyurik said the life of the city’s 25,000 residents changed forever on February 24, the day the invasion began.

It began with the terror of indiscriminate shelling, followed hours later by the arrival of hordes of strutting savages casually shooting at defenseless civilians.

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One even shot through the skull of a statue of a famous Ukrainian poet, Taras Shevchenko, in the town square.

Police Major Tsilyurik, 36, joined Territorial Defense fighters, armed only with mortars and assault rifles, to launch a counterattack on March 1.

He said: “We knew we had to fight back and we ambushed a column of them in the middle of the city.

“We killed eight of them, but they took their revenge the next day.”

Russian forces bombed Central Street, where the attack took place, and ripped huge gaps in occupied eight-story apartment blocks with 1,000- and 500-pound bombs. Scores of people were buried in the rubble.

Air raids on the city – 36 miles northwest of the capital Kyiv – were followed by devastating artillery as foot soldiers swept through the city, executing anyone who ventured out – and trucking away the bodies to hide their war crimes.

Major Tsilyurik said at least five women were kidnapped and raped. Women later found in mass graves also showed signs of sexual assault.

The city’s death toll is around 150, but 50 locals are missing, presumed dead, and more mass burial sites are expected. This compares to 412 murders in Bucha, 20 miles away, with a population of 40,000. Police say the four burial sites found so far in Borodyanka and neighboring villages of Piskivka and Nemishaevo each contain between five and nine bodies.

Borodyanka Mayor Georgi Yerko, 60, went under when the Russians arrived and, with the help of daughter Galyna, organized the evacuation.

He said: “We were proud of our city. There used to be 49 municipal buildings, but only two remain.

“They wanted to eliminate every trace of Ukrainian authority. They hunted me like an animal, but they are the animals and they have to answer for what they did here.”

Galyna, 36, said: “It’s even worse than Bucha. It was more concentrated evil in a smaller town.

“The Russians knew my father’s email addresses and were constantly sending death threats via email and text messages, but we avoided them until liberation came. My father led us. He’s a humble man, but he’s a hero.”

Police officer Ivan Symarov has vented his hatred for Putin after a bomb killed his entire family.

He was working with other police officers who had joined the resistance when he heard an explosion more than a mile away and sped to the scene.

He arrived to find a crater where his home once stood. Wife Lena, 26, father Vasile, 54, mother Natalia, 47, brother Petro, 21, and grandmother Nina, 82, all died instantly.

Putin’s animals had dropped a bomb on my house for no reason and I was pulling at the rubble knowing that I had lost everything I loved.

Policeman Ivan Symarov

Daughter Polina, two, was only breathing, but died in hospital.

He said: “I ran into the ruins screaming for an answer, but knew there was little hope.

“Putin’s animals had dropped a bomb on my house for no reason and I was pulling the rubble knowing I had lost everything I loved.

“First I found my mother, then my brother, then grandmother – then I cried out when I saw little Polina. She was still breathing. I carried her to the hospital praying she would pull through but she died.

“Thanks to Putin and the barbarians he sent to kill us, I am now alone in the world. I have no idea if they attacked my house because I’m a cop, but it had no military value. It was cold blood murder.

“But when the Russians come back, they will answer for this and all the other horrors they brought to Borodyanka. Every Russian mother should know my pain and know that their sons and husbands will never come home from Ukraine. We will fight them to the death.”

Nadya Koveshpikova, 63, observed Russian death squads on the streets during the occupation.

She said: “I heard two gunshots right outside my house. I ran out and found a man’s body in the gutter. It was a neighbor’s friend named Andriy.

“I ran back into the house but when I checked again the body was gone. They hid the evidence.”

It has been six weeks since mobs withdrew from Borodyanka after Ukrainian defenders thwarted their advance on Kyiv.

Life slowly returns as families do their best to help and comfort one another, and hope lives on. Tatiana Tserkovna, 38, who was in line for rations with daughter Ann, 18, said: “The sun is shining and we are glad to be alive.

“I’ve lost friends, our city is in ruins and have no job after a Russian tank opened fire on the supermarket I was working at when they left.

“But we’re still here and we’re still going strong. We have nothing but hope.”

Emergency services search the rubble of a destroyed block of flats in the city of Borodyanka

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Emergency services search the rubble of a destroyed block of flats in the city of BorodyankaCredit: EPA
A cyclist rides past the destruction in a residential area of ​​Borodyanka

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A cyclist rides past the destruction in a residential area of ​​BorodyankaPhoto credit: Getty
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VLADIMIR Putin, 69, is “very ill with blood cancer,” according to a Russian oligarch with Kremlin ties known only as Yuri.

A western businessman received an audio recording of him.


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DevanCole

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