The body of a 23-year-old Ukrainian woman has been found among hundreds of bodies in a mass grave in Bucha after she was raped, tortured and shot in the head, according to her grieving loved ones.
Karina Yershova, who lost her nails in the apparent battle for her life, was discovered dumped in a garden in the besieged Kyiv suburb, the Telegraph reported on Wednesday.
“She was shot at close range. Almost half of her head was missing,” Andrii, the tragic woman’s stepfather, told the news media.
After Yershova disappeared last month, her mother, Olena Dereko, asked people on social media to “help me find my daughter,” The Sun reported.
A friend of the despairing mother later announced the fate of the young woman.
“Friends, terrible news. Racists killed my friend’s daughter Karina Yershova. The pain is terrible,” Olesya Vasylets wrote on Facebook, according to the news media.
“She was mocked, raped and then shot in the trash. Today my mother found out she was killed and set up a rescue squad,” she wrote. “Please help me bury her, I knew this boy for years , taught her English, she was a very talented and talented girl. “
At Yershova’s funeral, Olena tried to pry open the coffin to get one last glimpse of her only daughter, but her husband, Andrii, pulled her away so she would not see the mutilated remains, the Telegraph reported.
The family was told that Yershova had suffered a “violent death” and had “tears and wounds” on her body, but authorities withheld details from them, urging Olena not to see pictures of the body, the Telegraph reported.
“We have not seen the lower part of her body, only the upper part, but what we have seen at the top, we can only imagine what may be on the rest of her body,” said the stepfather.
Creepy images showed the skin on Yershova’s hands – which still had silver rings on her fingers – was sweating and revealing her bones, the Telegraph reported.
Nine of her nails had been torn off. The rest was still painted pink.
“It was as if she was trying to fight,” Andrii told the Telegraph, who reported that Yershova was also found with a bandage around her leg after she apparently tried to stop the bleeding from a shot.
Andrii said it was well known that brutal Russian troops had raped women and girls as part of their terror campaign.
“I have not heard of anyone being killed violently without being raped,” he told the newspaper.
“The people who were killed without being raped appear to have been the ones who were bombed. The people who were shot and tortured, the soldiers raped them almost every time, “Andrii added.
Yershova, who had rented an apartment with a friend, worked as an administrator in a sushi joint and had plans to start his own small business.
“When the full-scale invasion started, we asked her to come to Irpin, but she did not realize how serious it was,” Olena said.
The day after the invasion began on February 24, the parents were evacuated from Irpin in the middle of the bombing and moved to Odessa.
“We asked Karina to evacuate Bucha, but she did not think it would be so dangerous,” the parents said.
In 2014, the family was forced to flee Donetsk when the Russians invaded and traveled to the Kyiv region, where they started all over again.
“I rescued our child from Donetsk in 2014, but I lost her in 2022 in the Kyiv region,” said the stepfather.
He said he would learn to speak Ukrainian to further distance himself from Russia, adding that “the Russian soldiers are not humans. They are animals.”
Olena added: “How can I feel when someone took my only child? I have cried all I had. I have no tears now.”
The news of Yershova’s barbaric death comes amid a report that monstrous Russian troops “systematically raped” 25 Ukrainian girls and women as young as 14 years old after finding them hidden together in Bucha.
Lyudmyla Denisova, the country’s human rights commissioner, told the BBC that the victims were attacked after being found in the “basement of a house in Bucha”, the brutalized suburb of the capital Kiev, where hundreds of bodies were found.