The body of a 23-year-old Ukrainian woman has been discovered among hundreds of corpses 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 fight for her life, was discovered dumped in a garden in the besieged Kyiv suburb, the Telegraph reported Wednesday.
“She was shot at point-blank range. Almost half of her head de ella was missing, ”Andrii, the tragic woman’s stepfather, told the news outlet
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 anguished mother later announced the young woman’s fate.
“Friends, terrible news. Racists killed my friend’s daughter Karina Yershova. The pain is terrible,” Olesya Vasylets wrote on Facebook, according to the news outlet.
“She was mocked, raped, and then shot in the trash. Today my mother found out that she was killed and created a help group,” she wrote. “Please help me bury her, I knew this kid for years, taught her English, she was a very bright and talented girl.”
At Yershova’s funeral, Olena tried to pry open the coffin to get a 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 the body, but authorities withheld details from them and urged Olena not to view images of the body, the Telegraph reported.
“We have not seen the lower part of her body, just the upper part, but what we have seen at the top, we can only imagine what can be on the rest of her body,” the stepfather said.
Gruesome photos showed that the skin on Yershova’s hands — which still bore silver rings on the fingers — was scorched, revealing her bones, the Telegraph reported.
Nine of her fingernails had been torn off. The remaining one was still painted pink.
“It was like she had been trying to fight,” Andrii told the Telegraph, which reported that Yershova also was found with a tourniquet around her leg after she had apparently tried to stop bleeding from a gunshot.
Andrii said it was well known that brutal Russian troops had raped women and girls as part of their campaign of terror.
“I haven’t heard of someone who was violently killed without being raped,” he told the paper.
“The people who were killed without being raped seem to have been the ones who were bombed. Those people who were shot and tortured, the soldiers raped them almost every time,” Andrii added.
Yershova, who had been renting an apartment with a friend, worked as an administrator in a sushi joint and had plans of launching her 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 was launched on Feb. 24, the parents were evacuated from Irpin amid the bombing and relocated to Odessa.
“We asked Karina to evacuate Bucha but she did not think it would be so dangerous,” said the parents.
In 2014, the family was forced to flee from Donetsk when the Russians invaded and traveled to the Kyiv region, where they started over again.
“I saved our child from Donetsk in 2014 but I lost her in 2022 in Kyiv region,” the stepdad said.
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 created everything I had. I have no tears now.”
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 after finding hiding them together in Bucha.
Lyudmyla Denisova, the nation’s human rights commissioner, told the BBC that the victims were attacked after being found in “the basement of one house in Bucha,” the brutalized suburb of capital Kyiv where hundreds of bodies were found.