Russia’s F.S.B. Has Been Accused of Covering Up, Rather Than Solving, Crimes

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When the burned and blasted stays of Russian tanks and artillery had been first lifted from cranes on Saturday and lined up alongside Kyiv’s elegant Khreshchatyk Road — the Ukrainian capital metropolis’s reply to New York’s Fifth Avenue or London’s Oxford Road — many residents had been moved and uncertain what to make of the defiance.

By Monday, viewing the wreckage of Russia’s killing machines had develop into one thing of a pilgrimage. Hundreds of Ukrainians, all too accustomed to the automobiles’ damaging energy, swarmed the show.

The tanks had been positioned forward of Wednesday’s Independence Day celebrations, marking Ukraine’s 1991 break from the Soviet Union. The commemorations have extraordinary weight this yr, coming as Ukraine is battling Russia to retain its freedom.

There have been tears and smiles. Anger and disappointment. And plenty of photos snapped in an try to seize the unusual and jarring scene.

One man peered inside a burned-out armored personnel provider and spat on charred and tattered Russian uniforms. Three youngsters ate ice cream sandwiches with their mom, the shiny steel carcasses of Smerch missiles at their ft. A younger couple peered into the hollowed-out core of a tank.

“Bear in mind, this isn’t only a tank,” Volodymyr, 32, informed his girlfriend, Iryna, 26. “These had been actual individuals. Individuals who died within the flames right here.”

Greater than 1,300 individuals had been killed within the Kyiv area as Russian forces tried and didn’t take the capital, in keeping with a latest tally by the native authorities. However Volodomyr stated it was necessary to do not forget that the Russian troopers are individuals as effectively. And on this tank, they probably died in agony.

“It’s all simply so unhappy to see these items right here within the heart of Kyiv,” he stated. Till the primary rockets fell, he stated, he didn’t imagine there might be a conflict like this.

“By no means within the twenty first century,” he stated, repeating a chorus generally heard in Kyiv earlier than Feb. 24.

That morning, he stated, the couple packed up their belongings “in 5 minutes” and headed to a small village. They returned to Kyiv in Might to discover a desolate metropolis that had develop into a maze of checkpoints and shuttered shops.

“It was scary,” Iryna stated. However the Russians didn’t take the capital. For Iryina, Kyiv was solely simply now beginning to really feel like the town she knew — albeit one with a curfew, each day air raid alarms, new stresses, much less buzz and lingering uncertainty.

The tanks bore witness to the devastation of cities engulfed by preventing. Displayed on the edges of lots of the automobiles are the names of the locations the place they had been destroyed and captured by Ukrainian forces.

“Nikopol,” stated Andriy, 38, pointing to the identify of his hometown on an armored personnel provider close to a Gucci retailer. “It is rather unusual and really unhappy,” he stated.

Nikopol sits on the western banks of the Dnipro River. Throughout the water to the east, Russia is utilizing working variations of those weapons to bombard his residence. He doesn’t know when, or if, he’ll return.



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