A Ukrainian family of nine, including two young children, were executed in cold blood in their sleep in a Russian-occupied town, leading to the arrests of two Russian soldiers.
The мaѕѕ мυrder occurred on Saturday night in Volnovakha — an industrial town located between the Moscow-controlled cities of Donetsk and Melitopol.
The soldiers, who have not been identified, were said to have been drunk when they allegedly gunned down the entire Kapkanets family after the victims had refused to give up their home so that a Russian military unit could move in, according to a statement from the Ukrainian Donetsk Region Prosecutor’s Office.
The ĸιllerѕ had used machine guns equipped with silencers to methodically кเll the family members in their beds one by one, reported Russian media outlets.
The victims have been identified as the head of the household, 53-year-old Eduard Kapkanets, and his wife, Tatiana, whose 51st birthday the extended family had celebrated just hours before the slaughter.
One of the photos from the scene showed the kitchen table still laden with leftover food from the dinner party and several bouquets of flowers standing in vases in the corner.
Also ĸιlled were the couple’s 31-year-old son Andreij and his 29-year-old wife, Natalia, along with the pair’s their children — 9-year-old Anastasia and 5-year-old Nikita — and Natalia’s 20-year-old brother, Dmitry Khotinskiy.
The massacre also claimed the lives of Andrei’s younger brother, 25-year-old Alexander, and the brother’s 27-year-old wife, Ekaterina.
Harrowing photos that were released Monday by the prosecutor’s office showed a bullet-riddled couple locked in a final embrace on their blood-soaked bed.
Another gut-wrenching image depicted a boy and a girl lying motionless in bed next to a ∂εα∂ woman — all still tucked in under blankets, with blood spatter decorating the wall above them.
“There is no doubt that the bloody hands of the Russians are involved,” Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets wrote on his Telegram channel.
Russian investigators in the annexed part of eastern Ukraine said late Monday that they had detained the soldiers suspected of carrying out the bloodbath in Volnovakha. They are facing murder charges punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
The alleged gunmen were said to be from an unspecified region in Russia’s Far East, and the motive appeared to be some kind of personal conflict. Lubinets claimed the suspects were Chechen.
Earlier this month, Eduard Kapkanets was approached by a group dressed in uniform and carrying weapons, who demanded “that the family that lived there vacate the house for the residence of one of the units of the Russian army,” the statement from the prosecutor’s office read.
When Kapkanets refused to give up his home, the soldiers allegedly “threatened his family members with physical violence and left.”
A few days later, the servicemen returned and “shot all nine members of the family, who were already asleep at that time,” the prosecutor’s office stated.