Eight Russian soldiers and mercenaries were charged Tuesday with the murder of the mayor of a small suburb of Kiev and her family, Ukraine’s attorney general said.
The mayor, Olha Sukhenko, was found on April 2 in a shallow grave in her village of Motyzhyn, about 50 kilometers west of Kiev, after Russians withdrew from their positions around the capital. Her husband and son were buried with her.
Prosecutor General Irina Venediktova said five of the accused men were soldiers in the Russian army and three were part of the private Wagner military group, which is led by a businessman close to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin. Among the soldiers were two lieutenants and three sergeants from one unit, the 37th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade.
“They kidnapped Olga Sukhenko, her husband and son from the house of the village of Motizhyn,” Ms. Venediktova wrote on Facebook, posting the names and photos of all eight men.
She said the men Mrs. Sukhenko and her relatives in March detained and took them to a house they used as a base. There, she said, “Russian fighters tortured them and tried to extract information” about the Ukrainian army and armed forces. The prosecutor said that the Russians killed Mrs. Sukhenko’s son right before her eyes.
“They first shot her son in the leg and then they killed him with a gunshot to the head,” she wrote. “The entire family died of multiple gunshot wounds.”
She said the group accused soldiers and mercenaries also terrorized other civilians, tortured and killed them, and looted and destroyed their homes.
Ms. Venediktova asked anyone with relevant information about the soldiers and mercenaries to share it with the website the prosecutor has set up to collect testimonials about war crimes.