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Bucha tries to get ahead

Lifeless bodies waiting to be buried in Bucha. / EP

Atrocity symbol. Two months after the Russian withdrawal, the city recovers services and opens shops

Bucha, which has become one of the scenes of the horrors caused by the forces of Vladimir Putin, recovers some normality two months after Moscow’s withdrawal from the kyiv region, at the end of March. The martyr city “is gradually coming to life,” celebrates Taras Shapravski, secretary of the Bucha City Council.

Now all the services involved in the resumption of the supply of gas, water and electricity “are working” at full capacity, says the municipal official, although not in all the microdistricts of the region. Gas, water and electricity have already reached more than “80% of the houses,” he details.

Over time, businesses have also reopened. Some after being completely destroyed after the Russian offensive, as is the case of a consulting center for small and medium-sized companies. Other businesses such as bakeries and clothing stores have also reopened. Rozetka, the country’s largest online retailer, has followed suit, already offering Bucha residents everything from food to technology.


  • Common poses.
    “Some had five bullet wounds. Many had signs of torture and others of rape»

  • Technology.
    The City Council has specific applications in case of finding unexploded explosives

Even if they continue, the images of the horror that occurred in this city, a symbol of Russian atrocities in Ukraine, will continue to be stored in the minds of citizens. But Canadian artist Ivanka Siolkovska has come up with a way to remove that trace. How? Turning fences, gates and walls that have huge bullet holes into large prints of “bright flowers” throughout the city, says the City Council.

This step forward brings light and color to the darkness left behind by the Kremlin’s troops. The trail of corpses is counted by hundreds. The authorities have completed the exhumation of the bodies found in mass graves and have confirmed the death of more than 400 civilians. The identification process has been “very difficult”. Both for relatives and for researchers. “Some fainted during the exhumation,” they say from the Ukrainian Consistory.

From the investigations carried out on the Bucha massacre, it has been observed that most of the people were shot in the head. “Some had up to five bullet wounds. Many had signs of torture and others of rape, “laments Shapravski. From a mass grave near the church, 117 bodies were exhumed, of which 30 were women and two were children aged 10 and 4 years. “It was very hard”.

Despite recent and harsh memories, life goes on in this city, but on dangerous ground. Although not as much as when the Russian troops besieged the area with continuous attacks. Following its withdrawal, Moscow left a tail of unexploded mines in the streets of Bucha. “Explosives experts and sappers examined buildings and public roads. But we do not recommend going through green areas, there may be explosive objects in the bushes, “explains the municipal secretary. In a single day, more than 4,000 explosive devices were found.


At the moment walking in the area is dangerous, so the government team advises residents not to return yet. A neighbor has turned a deaf ear and has returned to his apartment, where he has found two unexploded shells. But he has not been the only one. Another neighbor, returning home, found a mine in a room on which the occupants had put a weight. «The invaders left a ‘gift’ for the owners: they put a peso in a mine. If you pick it up, the device will detonate,” says one of the sappers. “We have dozens of specific apps for these situations,” says Shapravski.

This is not the only city martyred in the invasion. The war also left its cruel mark on Borodianka, where little by little intense restoration work is being carried out for a return to normality. “The water supply is being restored, but there are still problems with the wiring to the apartments,” explains Grigory Yerko, acting head of the city, where the water supply system was significantly damaged after the bombing. In this location, nine houses have been confirmed completely destroyed and 32 damaged.

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