(NEW YORK) — Images emerging out of Borodyanka, a small town on the outskirts of Kyiv, show how much devastation has been left in the wake of Russian occupation.
Buildings are seen burned and completely destroyed, surrounded by rubble left behind by Russian forces that failed to overtake the Ukrainian capital. Widespread destruction was seen in the suburbs surrounding Kyiv, including Bucha, Irpin and Borodyanka. Burned-out cars litter the roadways.
ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman, who reported from Borodyanka on Wednesday, described an apartment complex “cut in half” and another building that had so much of its exterior blown off that it’s possible to “see right into people’s homes.”
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The town of Borodyanka, about 30 miles northwest of Kyiv, “is almost destroyed,” Oleksiy Kuleba, the governor of Kyiv Oblast, said Tuesday after visiting the Borodyanka.
After Ukrainian officials began to discover the atrocities committed in Bucha, Ukrainian prosecutor-general Iryna Venediktova said the situation in Borodyanka, about 50 miles northwest of Kyiv, could be worse.
“In fact, the worst situation, when we talk about civilian casualties in Kyiv region, is in Borodyanka,” Venediktova said Monday on Ukrainian TV.
The death toll in Borodyanka and other liberated cities may be even higher than in Bucha, where at least 300 people were killed or tortured, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in an address on Monday. Russian troops occupied Borodyanka even longer than Bucha.
“We are already doing everything possible to identify all the Russian military involved in these crimes as soon as possible — everything to punish them,” Zelenskyy said. “This will be a joint work of our state with the European Union and international institutions, in particular with the International Criminal Court.”
Drone video filmed in early March showed the extent of devastation and destruction in residential areas of Borodyanka after strikes from Russian forces began.
Humanitarian corridors from Borodyanka had been established as Ukrainian nationalists moved into residential areas of the town, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on March 3. It is unclear how many were able to flee the small town of about 13,000.
Zelenskyy began recounting the annihilation of Borodyanka as early as March 5, detailing destroyed schools and the Kharkiv Assumption Cathedral, which had been badly damaged in the air raids.
“Look what Russia has done,” Zelenskyy said in a March 5 address. “It did it right in front of your eyes. Protect yourself!”
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