Ukraine: Russian soldier tells woman grave was 'to put you in'

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A Ukrainian civilian has been left haunted by the threats of murder made by Russian soldiers as they dug a grave for her body in front of her home. Defence expert Danielle Sheridan explained how Russian forces told the woman, “we’ve been instructed to dig this grave and it’s to put you in.” The woman involved has been reportedly left traumatised by the incident which occurred after she left a hidden shelter in a desperate search for food.

Speaking to Iain Dale for LBC, the Daily Telegraph correspondent explained it is essential that Russian war crimes are documented by the media and, where possible, Ukrainian civilians so they can be used as evidence in later court trials.

Ms Sheridan, reporting from Kyiv Ukraine, explained she encountered a Ukrainian woman who claimed Russian soldiers had destroyed her much-loved garden, previously filled with fruit trees, to dig a crude grave for civilian bodies.

The brave woman reportedly confronted the Russian military who then threatened to kill her and bury her in the garden grave.

Ms Sheridan said: “They started digging with a shovel and then they brought a tractor in.

“And when she asked them, ‘what are you doing? Why is there a pit in my garden?’ They said they had been instructed to dig this, ‘it is a grave, it’s to put you in it.’

“Which is incredibly harrowing. I think what she’s really having to deal with now is knowing how close to death she came.”

Despite the withdrawal of Putin’s troops from the area, the gravesite remains intact. Sheridan explained the woman is haunted by the experience as every day when she leaves her home, “she’s confronted with this pit.”

LBC’s Iain Dale highlighted that more evidence is emerging from Ukraine of Russian war crimes, yet the Russian forces continue to deny the accusations.

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Mr Dale mocked the denial of the Russian military: “They somehow think that the Ukrainians are creating mass graves for themselves.”

As Russia continues to reject the accusations of war crime, Dale noted that “all the evidence shows these accusations are in fact valid.”

Ms Sheridan agreed with the presenter as she explained the Ukrainian people are “infuriated” at the vile behaviour of Russian forces.

“They don’t know why they’ve been targeted,” explained Sheridan, as Ukrainian civilians struggle to understand why they are attacked with “such hatred” by Russia.

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As Russian soldiers commit atrocities across Ukraine, Sheridan described a responsibility among the media to record offences in order to support Ukrainians who want the offenders “brought to justice.”

In a speech to the United Nations, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky recently used graphic images of dead civilians to urge the Assembly to take tougher action against Russia.

Ms Sheridan explained it is essential that media teams are allowed into Ukraine to report on the conflict as it happens.

Media records of the violence have the power to prove to the world that “war crimes are being committed,” claimed Sheridan.

She expressed hopes that media reporting from Ukraine could be used as evidence to bring “some sort of justice,” to the offenders at a later date.

The report of Russian war crimes from Sheridan comes after images emerged from Bucha, a region just outside Ukraine, showing civilian bodies burned and many in what appeared to be mass graves.

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