In March, Russian invaders set up a combat position on the Kyiv-Zhytomyr highway (M06) and shot at cars with civilians trying to escape the war. From March 4 to 25, the Russian military shot at 10 vehicles. As a result, 13 people died, and six were injured.
“And we are talking only about those people who were driving cars. We already have evidence of the killing of civilians in nearby settlements, as well as those who tried to walk past Russian combat positions,” the head of the investigating team Oleksandr Klymovkyi said.
The police said these war crimes were committed by the second battalion tactical group from the 5th separate tank brigade of the Russian Federation.
Two battalion tactical groups from this brigade were among the first to enter the territory of Ukraine from Belarus. They were moving in the direction of Kyiv. On March 3, they reached the Zhytomyr highway. One battalion tactical group took a position near the village of Berezivka, while soldiers from the second established their position at a gas station near the village of Mila, from where most of the people in cars were shot, police said.
Suspicion has been announced to the commander of the 5th separate tank brigade, who directed the cold-blooded shooting of a convoy of civilians. Investigators identified and set up a photo database of 400 Russian servicemen who committed war crimes in the Kyiv region.
“It was the second battalion-tactical group that committed the most murders on the Zhytomyr highway. Russian tanks were stationed behind the gas station, next to it, and opposite it, thus blocking traffic in both directions. The next day, March 4, the invaders shot five cars. At that time, seven Ukrainians died, and four more were wounded by gunshots,” Klymovkyi said.
A family with a small child was traveling in one of the cars. They managed to drive much further under fire than others so Russian soldiers organized a real hunt and began to conduct heavy fire on the car. As a result, a two-year-old girl and her father received gunshot wounds, and the mother died. The severely wounded father walked with his daughter in his arms. They reached the nearest Ukrainian checkpoint after a driver who was passing nearby took them to his car.
On March 7, the Russians fired at a convoy of 14-15 vehicles. The first three cars were under fire. The footage of the shooting of a car that was one of the first in the convoy showed a family with a 7-year-old child. The child’s mother died immediately as a result of the shelling. The father, trying to save his son, got out of the car with his hands raised. He was shot by the Russian military in front of the boy.
At the end of March, the Russian troops began to retreat under pressure from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. In order to hide the shooting of civilians, they burned cars and the bodies of people who remained there.