It should have been a precious
family snap – six-year-old Oleg Kornievski posing for his mother with a bouquet
of freshly picked flowers.
But the picture serves as a
tragic prelude to yet another heartbreaking story from the war in Ukraine.
Just hours later Oleg was
killed in a Russian artillery attack. He was mortally wounded by shrapnel in
front of his house and his mother Ekaterina buried him the next day. The
distraught mother was seen tending to the earth on his grave, and sobbing as
she knelt on the ground to pray.
Little Oleg was one of three
people killed when Russian forces shelled Lysychansk, a city in the east of
Ukraine – just across the river from the battleground of Severodonetsk. At
least one other person was wounded. Serhiy Haidai, the head of Luhansk region,
said the attacks on the area this week had also caused a shopping centre to
Meanwhile, the UN Secretary-General has called for an independent investigation into the deaths of
civilians in Ukraine after Russia was accused of war crimes.
As Ukrainian forces have
re-entered areas close to the capital Kyiv after the Russians retreated, they
have reported finding hundreds of bodies and mass graves in the town of Bucha.
It is here and in the
surrounding areas that the BBC has filmed bodies of civilians in the streets –
some with their hands and feet bound – who had been shot. Russia says images of
civilian killings are ”fake”.
The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen met a
bereaved mother on the outskirts of Kyiv, who had to bury her own son after he
was killed by Russian soldiers.