Germany is investigating war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine. Law enforcers are pinning their hopes on the testimony of Ukrainian refugees. What are the prospects of the investigation and how the evidence is gathered

“We had bricked up the windows when the sounds of shelling started to be heard nearby,” Tatiana Kuhn recalls the beginning of the Russian invasion. Six months have passed, but the wounds of the experience do not heal. The 65-year-old woman with thick gray hair begins a long story and cannot hold back her tears as she recalls the days of the Russian occupation in her native Bucha. Today she lives in Berlin, where she arrived in the spring, having escaped the occupation, with only one thing in mind: to be away from the horrors of war.

The first shock of the occupation

“One day – I think it was March 10 – through a crack in the window I saw a convoy of cars with white flags and inscriptions ‘children’ drive along the road,” Tatiana says. The next day the woman decided to go to the city for the first time in a few weeks of war. Seeing the convoy gave her hope to evacuate to safety, but what Tatiana Kuhn saw at the exit from Bucha, on the highway to the west, shocked her “The convoy I saw the day before with white flags was all smashed,” Tatiana continues. .

“There were overturned cars, engines, wheels with burned rubber. Pillows, blankets, children’s clothes were shot all around. Backpacks, suitcases. There is still blood caked on those cars before my eyes. A lot of blood,” the woman recalled. Ahead was a roadblock, from where a Russian soldier ran up to Tatiana. “Orders are not discussed. We shoot because we don’t know who is riding in these cars,” he answered nonchalantly when the woman dared to ask what had happened to the convoy, which had dozens of cars in it.