Orthodox priest Father Andriy, who led Thursday’s service near the mass grave, said, “We are praying for the souls of those killed unjustly.” All of their names are known to God.
After a similar ceremony on August 9 in which 15 bodies were buried without identification, this was the second such ceremony to be held in Bucha.
After the 33 days of Russian occupation, local authorities in Bucha claim to have discovered 458 bodies in the area. Twelve of the dead are children, most of whom were murdered alongside their parents.
The mass grave near St. Andrew’s Church contained 116 bodies, according to the authorities.
A number of morgues around Kyiv started the identification process in April. After an autopsy and a month of waiting, the bodies are buried without identification if no one can be located to claim them.
Because of a bureaucratic mix-up, Oleksandr Khmaruk, 37, was initially only identified by a number, and his parents had a difficult time locating his body. Russian soldiers are suspected of dragging Khmaruk, a member of the Ukrainian armed forces in 2014 and 2015, from his home and shooting him at a checkpoint.
His body was among the ten unidentified bodies buried on Thursday alongside his. His burial took place on Thursday, alongside his brother’s, at the same cemetery.
Mykhailyna Skoryk-Shkarivska, the deputy mayor of Bucha, said, “We are working with a list of approximately 50 bodies that remain unidentified.” This number may change if more family members are located to identify the deceased.
She said, “We hope these numbers will become names.”
The Los Angeles Times was the first to publish this story.
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