Mayor of Bucha asked a neighboring town to bring hundreds of coffins because his city was 'not ready to have so many dead bodies'

Mayor of Bucha asked a neighboring town to bring hundreds of coffins because his city was 'not ready to have so many dead bodies'
·2 min read
Officials exhume the bodies of civilians who died during the Russian attacks, from mass graves in Bucha, Ukraine on April 11, 2022.
Officials exhume the bodies of civilians who died during the Russian attacks, from mass graves in Bucha, Ukraine on April 11, 2022.Photo by Metin Aktas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
  • Bucha's mayor told a neighboring town that he needed hundreds of coffins for 'dead bodies.'

  • The Kyiv suburb was the site of mass civilian killings during a weeks-long Russian occupation.

  • At least 403 dead civilians have been found, he said, and that number is expected to grow.

The mayor of Bucha — the Kyiv suburb where mass civilian killings were recently discovered — said he asked a neighboring town to bring hundreds of coffins because his city wasn't ready for "so many dead bodies."

Anatoliy Fedoruk said during a Tuesday press conference in Kyiv that he told a nearby mayor he needed "at least 300 wooden coffins" with crosses and other "ritual items."

"We were not ready to have so many dead bodies," he said, as corpses continue to be pulled from mass graves and identified.

At least 403 civilian bodies — many of whom were brutally "tortured and killed" — have been found in Bucha since Russian forces retreated from the city in late March, Fedoruk said.

"Unfortunately, this number is growing," he said, as grave sites continue to be found in neighborhoods around the city.

Scores of corpses were found in partially excavated mass graves earlier this month while other bodies were found lying in the streets, according to Ukrainian officials. Photos and videos revealed many victims showed signs of torture and were executed.

Russia has denied it was responsible for the killings during its weeks-long occupation of the city, but satellite imagery shows the bodies in the streets during Russia's occupation, refuting the Kremlin's claims that the massacre happened after its troops left.

Fedoruk during Tuesday's press conference directly addressed residents of Bucha who either fled or managed to survive the occupation, warning them it was too early for them to return home.

"You will be shocked with what you will see in your homes," he said. "You will remember Russian occupiers for a long time."

He said dozens of apartment buildings and hundreds of residential homes are destroyed.

Following the discovery in Bucha, international organizations and Western leaders slammed Russia for committing "atrocities" and announced they would work with Ukraine to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Last week, Russia was suspended from the United Nations Human Rights Council after the US had called for its removal in the wake of the discoveries in Bucha.

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