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A heart-wrenching photo shared on social media is reportedly how a Ukrainian man discovered that Russian soldiers had killed his family.
In a caption to the image on Twitter, New York Times photojournalist Lynsey Addario wrote “WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES: Today I witnessed Russian troops deliberately targeting civilians fleeing for their lives from the village of Irpin. At least three members of a family of four were killed in front of me.”
The photo wound up on the front page of the news outlet and went viral. Addario admitted to CBS News (see video embedded below) that “It’s disrespectful to take a photo, but I have to take a photo. This is a war crime.”
According to the Times, Tetiana Perebyinis and her two children plus a church volunteer who was assisting them “were killed on Sunday as they dashed across the concrete remnants of a damaged bridge in their town of Irpin, trying to evacuate to Kyiv. Their luggage — a blue roller suitcase, a gray suitcase and some backpacks — was scattered near their bodies, along with a green carrying case for a small dog that was barking.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES: Today I witnessed Russian troops deliberately targeting civilians fleeing for their lives from the village of Irpin. At least three members of a family of four were killed in front of me. @nytimes https://t.co/lR0a5FRpXX
— lynsey addario (@lynseyaddario) March 6, 2022
Tetiana’s husband Serhiy was in eastern Ukraine caring for his ill mother who was suffering with COVID-19. He had been trying to monitor the family’s progress with an app on their phones but service was intermittent. He called his family’s devices, after getting a ping on Sunday morning that indicated it was from a Kyiv hospital, but nobody answered.
“Something had gone wrong…A half-hour or so later, he saw a post on Twitter saying a family had been killed in a mortar strike on the evacuation route out of Irpin. A short time later, another Twitter post appeared, with a picture. ‘I recognized the luggage and that is how I knew,’ he said,” the Times reported.
“We refurbished three apartments and never argued once,” the grieving husband and father said about his 20-plus year marriage.
Serhiy Perebyinis also said that he was hassled by Russian border guards as he tried to return to Kyiv, with the possibility of arrest before they ultimately let him go.
“My whole family died in what you call a special operation and we call a war. You can do what you want with me. I have nothing left to lose,” he told the soldiers.
As the invasion continues, which has resulted in thousands of casualties and millions of refugees, reports have emerged that Naftali Bennett, Israel’s prime minister, has been trying to negotiate a ceasefire. Bennett flew to Moscow last week for a three-hour meeting with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and has had several phone conversations with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine’s president. Bennett also met with officials in Germany about the crisis.
For various political and strategic reasons, Israel maintains good diplomatic relations with both Russia and Ukraine.
“The prime minister gave no details of his talks with any of the leaders but said he would keep working as a go-between,” The Washington Post reported.
Putin’s government has denied that the army is targeting civilians in Ukraine.
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