Putin’s ‘barbaric’ troops are planting bombs in children’s teddy bears in a sick strategy to torment ordinary Ukrainians, a surgeon treating the war-wounded in Kyiv has claimed.
Oleksandr Yatsyna, a trained urologist who studied in Britain and travels to the Polish border to pick up supplies, has claimed that Russians are determined to kill Ukrainian children.
It is thought to be part of a strategy of psychological warfare, to ‘twist their minds’ by making their lives unbearable and weaken them into abandoning resistance.
‘First we had the catastrophic injuries from the bombs, then the shooting, next the mines scattered along the roads but worst of all are the stuffed toys filled with explosives,’ he told the Times.
‘They are targeting families. Be in no doubt, the Russians are determined to kill our civilians and children too.’
Kyiv Surgeon Dr Olexandr Yatsyna, 39, above, claims Russian trooops are boobytrapping teddy bears for children to find. He travels from Kyiv to the Polish border regularly to pick up supplies for the hospital
A Ukrainian grandmother cries at the funeral of her 12-year-old granddaughter, amid claims that Russia is deliberately targeting children as part of psychological warfare
Above: An elder woman walks amid destruction on a street in the town of Bucha, where Russian troops committed alleged war crimes during a month-long occupation
The doctor sleeps and eats in the hospital to be near his patients, tending not just to their wounds but listening to their horror stories on his round each night and sharing some of their trauma.
‘They want to terrify us with their barbarity but they don’t understand the more they try to frighten the people the braver they become.
‘The stories I hear will haunt me for ever.’
Yatsyna has had to learn how to perform life-saving surgery fast from his origins as a specialist in urology.
He cannot divulge his hospital in Kyiv in case it is targeted. ‘When they hit the maternity facility in Mariupol I couldn’t believe it, that was my turning point.
Now I know they will attack any of us. Doctors and vulnerable patients, unable to flee, are prime targets.’
On Friday a Russian missile hit a train packed with civilians fleeing the town of Kramatorsk in the east of the country, killing at least 50 and wounding many more.
Graphic images on Friday from the eastern Ukrainian city showed bodies strewn across the floor, lying amongst luggage and children’s prams outside the city’s busy station.
The wreckage of the large Tochka-U missile was left lying on the grass outside the station showed white Russian text written down the side of its casing reading: ‘For (our) Children’ – a revenge message from the suspected pro-Moscow soldiers that launched it.
France branded the missile strike on Ukrainian refugees at a railway station a ‘crime against humanity’.
Russian soldiers wrote a chilling message of revenge on the Tockha-U missile (pictured Friday being inspected by Ukrainian investigators) that killed at least 39 people – including four children – and wounded 87 when two strikes hit a railway station in east Ukraine today, as thousands of desperate evacuees tried reach safer parts of the country
The strike was on Kramatorsk’s train station, with graphic pictures on Friday showing bodies strewn across floor outside, lying amongst abandoned luggage
France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the attack on refugees and civilians as a ‘crime against humanity’
Earlier, Brussels chief Ursula von der Leyen vowed to accelerate the wartorn country’s ascension to the European Union in the wake of Russia’s invasion.
The European Commission President symbolically handed Volodymyr Zelensky an official membership questionnaire at an historic joint press conference in Kyiv, in a move likely to infuriate Vladimir Putin and his inner circle.
Becoming an EU member state normally takes years, and the process involves several rounds of applications, criteria checks and negotiations.
Von der Leyen’s public appearance was the EU’s latest attempt to offer Kyiv both moral and financial support after Zelensky declared Russia’s invasion was a direct attack not only on Ukraine’s existence, but the security of Europe as a whole.
Earlier on Friday, the Brussels chief visited Bucha, where Russian forces have allegedly committed mass murder and rape. Since Russian troops pulled back from the town, Ukrainian officials say hundreds of dead civilians have been found there. Visiting the town on Friday, Von der Leyen said she had witnessed the ‘unthinkable’.
Referring to a deadly attack at Kramatorsk railway station earlier in the day, in which dozens of refugees including children were killed, she told the Kyiv news conference: ‘The cynical behaviour has almost no benchmark anymore… It is unbelievable.’
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen symbolically handed President Volodymyr Zelensky an official membership questionnaire, raising speculation that Ukraine could finally join the EU27 after Kyiv has openly admitted such aspirations since 2014
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen today visited Ukraine to see the victims of the Bucha massacre herself as member states came under renewed pressure to wean the bloc off Putin’s gas
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was joined in Bucha by the EU’s foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell who this week admitted the bloc is paying a billion euros a day for energy provisions
Soldiers stand guard as Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President, visits a mass grave in Bucha, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine
The mass killing of civilians in Bucha, near Kyiv, have been widely condemned by the West as war crimes with piles of bodies showing signs of torture and execution pictured after it had been recaptured by Ukrainian forces.
But officials have now revealed that even greater damage was done by Putin’s thugs in Borodyanka, northwest of Kyiv and about 15 miles from Bucha.
The are ‘significantly more dreadful’ than the scenes in Bucha, with residents left to die in the rubble of their bombed homes for a week, President Zelensky said last night.
It is thought that the worst horrors of Russia’s war in Ukraine are yet to be revealed.