люди бучі

People of Bucha

Dreams, loves and death causes of Ukrainians buried in a mass grave near the Church of Andrew the First-Called

Bucha is a small town on the northwestern outskirts of Kyiv. Until February 24, 2022, life was bustling in a quiet suburb surrounded by a forest: Kyivites built private houses there, young IT professionals bought affordable apartments by the capital's standards. In total, before the full-scale Russian invasion, more than 42,000 people lived in the city.

In 2022, Bucha immediately came under attack. On the first day of the full-scale invasion, February 24, local residents saw Russian soldiers on the outskirts. It was an assault force that landed in the nearby town of Gostomel. On February 27, Russians entered Bucha on military equipment, and on March 3, the city was completely occupied. Electricity, heating and running water immediately disappeared. In the frost, people hid in cold basements and cooked food on fire under constant shelling.

Terror began in the city from the first days of the occupation. The Russians destroyed Bucha with artillery and shot with tanks – in total 861 private houses and 122 apartment buildings were destroyed. City residents were killed by snipers when they went outside in search of food and water for their families. Separately, the Russian military hunted those who could support local self-defense and the Ukrainian army. All males were under suspicion, from students to pensioners. They were searched for in basements, grabbed on the streets and in houses. In Bucha, the Russians set up two torture chambers, where they abused the prisoners and then killed them. One is in the basement of the Veselka children's camp, where after the de-occupation five bodies were found. The second is the building at the intersection of Yablunska and Sklozavodska streets; eight bodies were found there. People were shot at close range, with their hands tied behind their backs.

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One of the mass shootings was reproduced in detail by The New York Times. After receiving video and photos from the crime scene, the journalists showed how the Russians killed eight unarmed civilians who were defending the city. According to journalists, Russian army's 234th Assault Regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Artem Gorodilov is responsible for the atrocities on Yablunska Street, where most of the bodies were found. According to Ukrainian intelligence, the main organization to blame for the crimes in Bucha is 64th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces. In total, according to official data of the Prosecutor General's Office, 637 civilians were killed in the city. 565 were identified, 34 got captured.

After the occupiers' retreat, a mass grave remained in the city on the territory of the Church of Andrew the First-Called. It was safer to transport and bury the bodies there than to the cemetery, which was shot through by Russian snipers. A total of 116 people were buried in two trenches dug by locals on March 10 and 11. Some of them were patients of the city hospital who died of diseases, some were killed by the Russians. The mutilated and dumped bodies could not be identified for a long time. 12 people have still not been identified.

In this project, we tell about the Ukrainians killed by the Russians, who were buried in a mass grave near the church — 58 people. About Iryna, who had completed make-up courses on the eve of the invasion; she was recognized by her bright red manicure. About athlete Roman, who planned to propose to his beloved on March 8. About the chef Victor, who baked bread for people during the occupation and whose skull was crushed by the Russians. About Marharyta, who moved to Bucha from the Russian-occupied Donetsk region. She, along with her two young sons, Klym and Matviy, were shot in the car. About Volodymyr, who lost both legs in the Donbas operations before 2022 and went to defend the city from the Russians with prostheses.

They worked, dreamed and loved. They defended their families and country. Russia took their lives, but not the memory about them. We remember everyone.


Dmytro Stefiyenko

20.04.1989 — 26.03.2022.

Worked as a forklift operator. He liked to pick mushrooms and play with his nephew. During the occupation, he saved a friend — he gave him a chance to escape from the Russians, but he himself did not have enough time for that. The occupiers killed Dmytro near the Military Commissariat on Sadova Street.


Ihor Didkivsky

11.08.1979 — 05.03.2022.

He was an athlete, engaged in mixed martial arts, joined "Buchanska Varta" city defense association from the first day. Before his death, he told his comrades that he wanted to blow up a Russian tank by himself. After that, he never got in touch. The shot body was found on Yablunska Street.


Iryna Filkina

01.04.1969 — 05.03.2022.

She worked at Epicenter construction hypermarket. During the first nine days of the full-scale war, she prepared food for her colleagues and took care of the flowers in the store. On March 5, she got on her bicycle and went home. She was sure that nothing bad would happen to her. Iryna's body was found on Yablunska, recognized by a bright red manicure. The day before the full-scale invasion, Iryna finished a make-up course.


Oleh Sych

26.08.1972 — 05.03.2022.

He worked at a confectionery factory. During the occupation, he made bread for the Bucha residents. He liked to play table tennis, and most of all, to play outside with his grandson. The Russians killed him on Zavodska Street.


Taras Panimash

21.03.1972 — 08.03.2022.

He was a tailor. After the full scale invasion, he sent his mother to a safe place and promised to come back soon. "I've just passed the checkpoint. I'm fine," were the last words he said to a colleague over the phone. Vadym was killed by the Russians at the gate of the house on Yablunska Street.


Dmytro Shkirenkov

01.08.1983 — 16.03.2022.

He worked as a construction worker. He liked to fish – he took the whole family with him. On the day of his death, he called his wife to wish her a happy birthday. The last request is to take care of their son. The Russians killed him together with his friend Maksym.


Vladyslav Korniienko

16.11.1993 — 06.03.2022.

He worked as a section manager in the Bucha shopping center. He liked to walk in nature and listen to rock music. During the occupation, he helped the locals by bringing food and water to the shelter. He planned to bring humanitarian aid to his native village of Havrylivka, but he was shot by the Russians before managing to do this.


Illia Navalny

02.08.1961 — 12.03.2022.

Before the Chornobyl accident, he worked as a motorist at a service station. After the disaster at the NPP, Illia settled in Bucha. He worked as a security guard, loved his son and granddaughter. The Russians shot him because of his last name. Later it turned out that Illia was the third cousin of the Russian opposition leader Oleksiy Navalny. The latter died in a Russian colony in February 2024.


Volodymyr Lapytskyi

21.07.1987 — 05.03.2022.

His passion was cars – he could make a "flying swallow" out of any. From the first days of the invasion, he wanted to join the Territorial Defense – got a reply "there are no weapons". He helped military and civilians. On March 5, he told his family that he planned to take the girl and leave Irpin. A few hours later, he called home and said that he had been captured. His last words were: "Don't worry, I'll be there soon." The Russians tortured and killed him.


Victor Kurus

08.05.1986 — 05.03.2022.

He worked as a chef and confectioner. During the winter season — in Bukovel ski resort, in the spring of 2022 he returned home to Bucha. During the occupation, together with his brother Mykhailo, he baked bread for the residents of the city. The Russians tortured Victor and crushed his skull.


Mykhailo Kurus

30.04.1977 — 05.03.2022.

He was a cook and worked as a sushi chef in Bucha. The mountains were a real passion for Mykhailo – he went hiking, rode a mountain bike. After the start of the sull-scale invasion, he stayed with his brother Victor and friends in Bucha. He joined the defense of the Kyiv region. The Russians tortured him to death.


Viktor Lukyanenko

08.11.1989 — 06.03.2022.

He fought on the Donbas before 2022. When he returned home, he worked as a tire fitter at a local service station. He liked to fish. During the Russian occupation, Victor took care of his parents. On March 3, he went to his mother and disappeared on the way there. Numerous gunshot wounds remained on the body.

Streets where Russians killed the most civilians


Oleh Tsymbala

22.10.1996 — 26.02.2022.

Lviv native, he fought on the Donbas before 2022. During the full-scale war, he served as a sniper for the reconnaisance team. Died under artillery fire while performing a combat mission.


Vadym Smetansky

10.12.1995 — 26.02.2022.

He was born in the Kirovohrad region. Graduated from Hayvoron Mechanical Engineering College. He served as a conscript in Zhytomyr and Lviv. Died in the battle for Bucha on Vokzalna Street.


Spartak Yarkin

25.08.1974 — 03.03.2022.

He lived in Kropyvnytskyi city until the full-scale war, went to fight from the first days. According to his brothers, Spartak walked from Nemishaeve village to Irpin city to prevent the Russians from quickly entering the city. Died in hospital from gunshot wounds. Spartak was posthumously awarded the medal "For the Defense of the Motherland" and the "Order of the Volunteer" distinction.


Oleksandr Blahodatnyi

27.04.1979 — 08.03.2022.

He had a son and two daughters. From the first days of the Russian full-scale offensive, he defended Vorzel town. Oleksandr did everything – he helped volunteers, searched for the Russian reconnaissance and subversive groups on military outings. He died in the hospital – was killed by a Russian sniper.


Victor Honchar

28.08.1967 — 05.03.2022.

He went through the war in Afghanistan. Until February 24, he worked as the chief engineer of Blahozelenbud company in Gostomel. He liked to fish and collect mushrooms. He died from a Russian sniper's bullet when he was taking his wounded neighbor Oleh to the hospital.


Oleh Tovkach

27.02.1960 — 05.03.2022.

He worked for 36 years at the Kyiv water supplier, was one of the main dispatchers there. He had two sons and four granddaughters. He died on the street of Lech Kaczyński from Russian shelling when he tried to evacuate with his wife from the occupied city.


Zoreslav Zamoyskyi

12.04.1978 — ??.??.2022.

Activist and freelance journalist. Wrote for the websites "Information portal" and "Community of Pryirpinia". On March 1, he published photos of the destroyed Vokzalna Street after the battles. "I started keeping a diary of the days of this war. I filled in for today and from memory for the previous days, starting from February 24. I want to describe the events of these days in more detail in the future," he wrote late in the evening of the same day. He died from torture by the Russians and a wound to the head.


Victor Kozyarevych

21.08.1946 — 05.03.2022.

He was a production designer. He worked at the Dovzhenko film studio and on television. The film about Les Kurbas "After the premiere – shooting", which Viktor worked on, won an award at the IX International TV and Film Forum "Together". In his spare time he made miniature sculptures. The Russians shot him on Ostrovskoho Street.


Yuriy Chabakh

04.11.1984 — 05.03.2022.

He had two higher educations and two specialties — management and law. After the reform of the National Police, Yuriy went to serve as a criminal investigation officer. Protected Bucha, helped evacuate civilians. During one of the evacuations, he was killed by a Russian sniper. The body was identified by a police badge.


Volodymyr Rubaylo

11.03.1951 — 05.03.2022.

Pensioner. He had two daughters and six grandchildren. Loved hunting and fishing. Volodymyr was killed by a Russian sniper when he left the house to get cigarettes.


Volodymyr Bisaha

06.09.1993 — 01.03.2022.

Born in Uzhhorod. Since 2011, he has been a member of the "Karpatska Sich" battalion. He stood on the Maidan, defended Ukraine during the war in Donbas. After the beginning of the full-scale invasion, he went to fight against the Russians. Died from a mine fragment during reconnaissance in Bucha.


Mykola Koloskov

29.03.1961 — ??.03.2022.

He was a private entrepreneur, worked as a construction worker. He had three children and two grandchildren. The Russians fired a cannon at the family's balcony. Mykola died in his wife's arms. His last word was her name – Tetyana.


Marharyta Chykmariova

27.03.1988 — 05.03.2022.

Originally from the Donetsk region. She moved to Bucha when the Russians occupied part of Donbas in 2014. Marharyta worked in the city and village councils of Gostomel. She adored her two sons and her husband Oleksandr. Together with the boys, she died near the house when they tried to leave the occupation. The Russians fired at a car with children. Oleksandr survived, but lost his leg. "I sometimes think it's good that Ryta didn't see [sons] Matvii and Klym dead, she wouldn't have endured it," says her friend.


Klym Chykmariov

13.04.2017 — 05.03.2022.

He played football, liked to dance, sing and tell poems. On April 13, 2022, he would have turned 5 years old. Klym died with his mother and older brother when his parents tried to take the family out of Bucha.


Matviy Chykmariov

02.07.2012 — 05.03.2022.

He studied at school. Liked mathematics and reading fairy tales to his younger brother Klym. On March 3, in a distance learning class, he shared a letter he wrote after the start of a full-scale war: “Now I am sitting in the basement and writing this text, I am worried about my family because there is fighting every day in Bucha. We are a shield for our capital, Kyiv. If I were 18 years old, I would go to fight for Ukraine. But I'm only 9..." He died together with his mother and younger brother when his parents tried to take the children out of the city. The Russians shot their car.


Valeriy Koltunov

02.08.1996 — 27.02.2022.

He lost his parents early. Grandmother Katya brought him up. After her death, he went to work at Novus supermarket. He dreamed of having a real family and building a home for them, which he did not have. After February 24, he opened the shop for fighters of the local Teroborona. The Russians kissed Valeriy by shootig him in the chest when he was helping Bucha residents to take shelter in a shopping center from a column of invaders. The doctor was not around – the boy died.


Nataliia Martynenko

10.09.1973 — 27.02.2022.

Originally from Crimea. She worked at a cosmetics warehouse in Gostomel. She died together with her son Dmytro from the explosion of a Russian bomb. Nataliia is survived by her husband, eldest son and daughter.


Dmytro Martynenko

22.02.1997 — 27.02.2022.

He loved football, was the best scorer and a player of the second league of the Championship of Kyiv-Sviatoshynsky district. He turned 25 two days before the full-scale invasion. He died together with his mother from a Russian bomb that hit the house.


Andriy Ivanchenko

09.05.1975 — 26.02.2022.

He was born in a large family in Slovyansk. In 2014, he moved to Bucha and got a job as a postman. He liked to ride a bicycle, repaired old things. He died on his own balcony when he went out to see what was happening outside. The Russians fired point-blank from a 30-millimeter cannon.


Yevheniy Marenko

01.02.1986 — 15.03.2022.

He graduated from the prestigious Kyiv Institute of International Relations with a red diploma. He loved sports – was involved in athletics. Yevheniy had a small business – he sold sports goods in his own store in Bucha. Died under fire. Yevheniy was buried in his native village of Vladyslavka.


Volodymyr Kovalsky

24.09.1983 — 27.02.2022.

He studied at the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute – there he met his future wife Kateryna. He worked as a design engineer. He stood on the Maidan with his beloved. After that, he fought in the Donbas, where he lost both legs. After February 24, he went to defend his native city with prostheses. Died on a combat mission near Novus supermarket.


Volodymyr Feotkystov

04.10.1972 — 04.03.2022.

He was a builder. Often helped neighbors with repairs. He died when he went out to get bread for his mother. Russians marching in a column down the street shot him. "He was just passing by... They killed an unarmed man just like that, because they wanted to," recalls Volodymyr's brother.


Yuriy Onishchuk

21.03.1959 — 05.03.2022.

He worked as a truck driver all his life. He lost his wife when their son was 13 years old, raised him alone. He liked to ride a bicycle. On March 5, when he tried to leave the occupied city, the Russians shot him. The body was found next to his bicycle.


Vitaliy Bashynsky

25.04.1977 — 04.03.2022.

Graduated from Kyiv National University of Construction and Architecture. He worked in the capital as an engineer at a factory. He was a cheerful and cheerful person. Vitaliy had two children. The Russians killed him on Zavodska Street.


Volodymyr Bohdan

10.11.1949 — 27.02.2022.

He had a wonderful family – lived with his wife for 52 years. Liked fishing and reading history books. Volodymyr played chess with his grandchildren. On the day he was killed by Russian soldiers, he was about to go help volunteers bake bread. "Boys are there, I have to replace them," he told his wife before he died.


Ihor Horodetskyi

27.09.1976 — 05.03.2022.

He graduated from the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute with honors. He worked as the head of the marketing department. He was interested in computers, loved mathematics and physics. The Russians killed him on Yablunska Street. The father recognized Ihor from the photo as "unknown #30".


Roman Tsvetkov

29.03.1994 — 11.03.2022.

He worked as a tower crane operator in Bucha. For the sake of work, he left his studies to become a rehabilitator. Professionally engaged in weightlifting. He planned to propose to his girlfriend on March 8, 2022, on the 11th he was shot on Yablunska Street.


Oleksandr Todosiyev

28.05.1975 — 01.03.2022.

He lived alone, loved his two nephews and niece very much. He was fond of motorcycles. The Russians killed him on Energetykiv Street.


Oleksandr Kovalevsky

14.07.1976 — 04.03.2022.

He was a builder, liked to fish. He was shot by the Russians when Oleksandr went out to get food for his family.


Serhiy Protsenko

31.10.1960 — 05.03.2022.

He was a cheerful person. He liked to fish. Died on Levka Lukyanenka Street.


Volodymyr Syntai

15.08.1980 — ??.02.2022.

He was born in the Rivne region. He worked as a construction worker all his life. He lost his wife a month before his death. He raised four children himself. The Russians crushed his skull.


Yevheniy Davydov

06.05.1977 — 21.03.2022.

He worked as a locksmith. Yevheniy died when he wanted to take his mother out of Buchi. It was only five minutes to her house, but he never got there – he was killed on Yablunska Street.


Denys Kushch

28.05.1995 — 01.03.2022.

He was engaged in photography, liked to ride a bicycle. The last phrase he said to his father: "Why should I leave my hometown?" They did not see each other again. Died due to intracranial trauma.


Vyacheslav Ostrovsky

26.09.1990 — 07.03.2022.

He was an e-athlete, participated in competitions. He had many friends and big plans for the future. Died from multiple wounds.


Victoriia Ostrovska

23.01.1971 — 07.03.2022.

Above all, she loved her family, and also loved traveling: she was inspired by new cities, countries and people. Victoria was shot by the Russians.


Tetyana Hramushnyak

02.05.1953 — 19.03.2022.

Before retirement, she worked as a forestry engineer. She loved to feed her children and grandchildren. In her spare time she sewed. Died under Russian mortar fire.


Lyubov Pashkina

10.08.1959 — 27.02.2022.

Oleksandr Khmaruk

05.09.1984 — 23.03.2022.

Ihor Kazmirchuk

08.04.1963 — 28.03.2022.

Anna Makukha

05.09.1965 — 20.03.2022.

Victor Paliienko

07.08.1973 — 06.03.2022.

Nadiia Koziarevych

13.10.1956 — 05.03.2022.

Yurii Maksymov

14.10.1957 — 19.03.2022.

Yurii Tkach

08.03.1960 — 04.03.2022.

Yurii Kyrychenko

11.04.1967 — ??.03.2022.

Serhii Kasyan

06.09.1968 — 12.03.2022.

He was a calm and friendly person. Loved his two dogs. He is survived by his mother and brother. Serhii was shot by the Russians.

The project is made by:

Kateryna Kobernyk, editor 
Victoria Kondratyuk, Thebuchacity journalist
Oleksandr Ostapa, executive director of Thebuchacity
Kateryna Bandus, art-director
Anastasiia Lysytsia, designer 
Joseph Kobal, web-developer
Maryna Kolesnychenko, producer
Anton Semyzhenko, English version editor

Supported by:

Bucha City Council Public Interest Journalism Lab Internews Network