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Surrounded by body bags – Putin’s ‘war crimes’ only strengthen Ukraine’s resolve

The war crime investigators were unable to speak, and the bodies of the victims were meticulously packed into bags.

At least 15 body bags were loaded on top of one another into an assortment of ambulances. There are several children among the death toll, including a baby who was just a few months old.

Many of the victims had already died when the attack occurred so quickly and so fatal.

The elderly man was still holding his steering wheel in his hand, and his body was slumped onto the seat.

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Two young women lay on the ground in front of their car, their legs bent at an abysmal angle and their faces covered with flies.

They might have been talking to one another when the missiles struck. They were all seated in their vans as a group.

Although someone had draped their bodies in thin white sheets, you could still see the front passenger, with his mouth open and head back, as though he’d been murdered.

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The group was able to transport their medical supplies and suitcases a short distance down the road, helping relatives and elderly people living in Russian controlled territory.

Vladimir Putin claims that all of this land is now Russian because he signed a decree annexed Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, and the two Donbas regions Luhansk, and Donetsk.

The Ukrainians, who had once used this clearing as a place for car parts markets, were still digging in for their DNA. They were determined to win the legal war, and to defend their territory.

After visiting the site, Denys Monastyrskyi, the Ukrainian interior minister, said that these were war crimes.

“And Putin should be held responsible for the things he did.”

The convoy was routine. 150 people met here every day at the beginning of each morning after receiving permission from Russian authorities to visit areas under Russian control.

They planned to rescue elderly or sick relatives and deliver provisions to those who wouldn’t leave their homes. They didn’t suspect that they would be attacked.

Valeriy was the only witness who requested to be identified as Valeriy. He said that he didn’t get the questions about who committed this atrocity.

Image Many Ukrainians claim that the Russians lost a lot of battleground combatants in the war on terror

He said, “I’m shocked by the rhetoric of journalists in Germany and France who ask who did it?”

“I am speaking with Russian soldiers (he points in direction of Russian-controlled areas). Even the Russian soldiers don’t believe who did it… They know that the Russian army bombed these.”

Olga Linik is on the phone.

We can see her anxiety and she tells us that she is trying to find her parents. Her father and mother are both doctors, and were also in the convoy.

Image The crater left by the attack

She explains that she tried to convince them to stay in Dnipro, but they refused to leave.

“My father called me, and I don’t know what’s happened. He said he tried for an hour to save my mother but I don’t know what happened.”

She flies off to get a call. Her father comes out of the convoy, flinging his arms around her and sobbing.

Her mother hasn’t done it.

They walk back to the bomb site, where Olga’s father and her mother say their last goodbyes.

According to the Ukrainian police, 30 people have died in the convoy, including children. Another 88 were injured in an attack on Zaporizhzhia that took place throughout the day.

We spoke with many Ukrainians who attributed the rise in attacks to Russian losses on battleground.

The attack on the convoy of civilians occurred hours before the Russian President declared publicly his country’s annexation in the four Ukrainian regions.

The terrible civilian attacks seem to have only strengthened the resolve of the Ukrainians, and their leader, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who submitted a request for Ukraine to join NATO.

It was a threat that prompted his Russian counterpart in the first place to launch his “special operation”. It looks like the situation in Ukraine is about to get worse.


Also shot by Jake Britton and Artem Lysak, Zaporizhzhia producers.



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