Russia invades Ukraine, country braces for major Donbas offensive

Note: This post contains graphic imagery.

The worst thing I have seen since arriving in Kyiv nearly a month ago would have to be the body of a man we were shown in a backyard in Borodianka, northwest of Kyiv.

We were led to the site by the owner of the house, who had fled town in the first few days of war. She returned as the invading troops withdrew, only to find her home had been ransacked by Russian soldiers.

Behind her garden shed, she showed us a man, with a bag over his head, his hands tied behind his back and his trousers pulled down, exposing his underwear and heavily bruised leg.

He had a gunshot wound to the head, and a single bullet case was still lying next to his body.

He appeared to have been tortured and executed by Russian soldiers, although we do not know for sure what happened to him.

By this time, we had already seen the now infamous mass grave in Bucha, but the image of that man has stuck with me – I find the individual more relatable than the collective. It is easier to compartmentalize, to dissociate a group from the humanity they were robbed of.

Some context: Borodianka was home to 13,000 people before the war, but most fled after Russia’s invasion. What was left of the town, after intense shelling and devastating airstrikes, was then occupied by Russian forces, which moved in on Feb. 28. The town came back into Ukrainian control on April 1.

Read more about what CNN journalists have witnessed in Ukraine here:

Atrocities are piling up across Ukraine.  CNN witnessed some of the horrors.

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