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An abandoned Russian military camp in a forest near Kyiv reveals horrors of the invasion (1 Viewer)

Rogue Valley

Lead or get out of the way
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Apr 18, 2013
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An abandoned Russian military camp in a forest near Kyiv reveals horrors of the invasion


Dmitry Nekazakov was walking his dog before he went to work when the Russian shelling started on Hostomel, a city on the outskirts of the capital, Kyiv. The Russian missiles and rockets that decimated buildings, lives and homes were fired from a sprawling Russian base, hidden in the forest some 4 kilometers (around 2.5 miles) away. Now, only the remains of that sprawling military camp sit among the trees. Earlier in the invasion, as Russian troops surged toward Kyiv, Ukrainian special forces believe 6,000 marines set up camp in this pine forest for a month, through the rain, snow, and temperatures that dropped to -12 degrees Celsius (around 10 degrees Fahrenheit). The site included a main command post and headquarters. It was from here and a nearby field that the Russian army launched attacks on Kyiv, Hostomel and the nearby city of Bucha. Gesturing to the size of the camp, one Ukrainian officer told CNN, "Russians fight not in quality, but in quantity." "They do not consider soldiers as people, for them they are cannon fodder and consumables. The tactics of the Russian army resemble, perhaps, the Middle Ages, when they took not by skill, but by quantity," he added.

Remnants of military equipment, clothing, and fortifications are not the only things the Russians left behind. Russian soldiers stormed into nearby neighborhoods, took over homes and terrorized residents who they came into contact with, according to local residents and a priest. Vasiliy Benca, a local priest in Zdvyzhivka, told CNN that Russian troops, tanks and armored cars converged on the village and remained there for a month. People were scared to emerge from their basements, he said. When Benca did, he said he found five men whose bodies had been mutilated in the garden -- and two more in the forest. "Russians asked -- or forced -- me to bury two (additional) women in the cemetery," Benca told CNN. Nekazakov, who fled when the Russians attacked his village, has now returned to his Hostomel home. He remembers all of the bodies he drove by when he left, he said, and regrets he couldn't do anything about it. Now, he said, he feels hatred for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the soldiers who ravaged his hometown. "I feel only hate. We wouldn't have thought in hundreds of years that this could happen," he said, looking at the graves of those who died. "We cannot forgive it for the rest of our lives."

The stink of Putin's war crimes will remain on Russia for generations.

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