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Ukrainian family shot dead while sleeping in Russian-occupied region

A family of nine, including two young children, was found shot dead in their home in the town of Volnovakha in Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine, in a murder that has sparked outrage in Ukraine and triggered investigations by both nations.

Footage from Ukraine’s Donetsk Region Prosecutor’s Office showed a gruesome murder scene of several family members shot as they lay in their beds, still hugging each other, with blood spatter visible on the walls.

Ukraine claims the family was murdered by Russian occupation forces after an argument, while Russian authorities say two Russian soldiers were arrested for the murders.

Volnovakha has been occupied by Russian forces since March 2022, following Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor the previous month.

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The prosecutor’s office in Ukraine’s Donetsk region said armed men in “military uniforms demanded that the family living there vacate the house to accommodate a Russian army unit” earlier this month.

When the homeowner refused, “the attackers threatened his family members with physical violence and left,” the office said on Monday, based on preliminary information.

Days later, the gunmen returned and “shot all nine members of the family, who were already asleep at that time,” the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office said.

“A pre-trial investigation has been launched into criminal cases for violation of the laws and customs of war,” he said.

Russian investigators said two Russian military personnel were detained on Monday in connection with the murder of nine people in Volnovakha.

The identified suspects are “Russian military personnel from the Far East serving under contract,” the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation for the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic said in a statement.

An investigation was launched in connection with the “murder of nine residents of the city of Volnovakha, including two children, whose bodies were found on the premises of a private residential house with gunshot wounds” on October 28, the committee said.

Russian investigators said their initial assessment was that “the motive for the crime was an internal conflict.”

“The suspects were detained and taken to the investigation department, investigative and procedural actions are being carried out with them aimed at determining all the circumstances of the incident, as well as consolidating the evidence base,” the commission stated.

This month, Ukrainian forces resisted a new Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine, while Moscow forces attacked residential areas. Ukraine also ordered the mandatory evacuation of civilians, especially children, in areas close to the front lines in the east and south.

Source: CNN Brasil

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