A British paramedic describes seeing rotting corpses hung from trees when he entered the Ukrainian town of Bucha shortly after Russian forces retreated

·3 min read
An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in Irpin cemetery on May 16, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine.
An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in Irpin cemetery on May 16, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine.Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
  • A British EMT told inews he was one of the first to enter Bucha after the Russian occupation.

  • He describes dead bodies hanging from trees and booby-trapped corpses.

  • This article contains disturbing imagery.

One of the first people to enter the Ukrainian town of Bucha after the Russian army retreated has described the horrendous scenes he witnessed.

A British paramedic Mark Brown* spoke to inews and painted a terrifying picture of what he came across as one of the first people to arrive in the destroyed towns of Bucha and Irpin after Ukrainian forces drove the Russian invasion back from the outskirts of Kyiv.

When he arrived in the country, he expected to provide medical care, help build field hospitals, and train Ukrainian forces. In reality, he had to cut down corpses hanging from trees, clear dead bodies, and walk through streets lined with "rotting" bodies that had their "hands tied" and were "booby-trapped," he told inews.

Exhumed civilian bodies wrapped in black plastic bags in Bucha, outskirts of Kyiv.
Exhumed civilian bodies wrapped in black plastic bags in Bucha, outskirts of Kyiv.Mikhail Palinchak/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The photos from Bucha show some of the scenes that Brown describes — including mass graves — but he said they don't even touch the sides.

"I don't even want to talk about it after the shit we've seen. It was awful. Let's put it this way; I've seen some of the photos the press has put out — if you think that's bad, times that probably by ten. And then times it again," he told inews.

On Friday, the European Union named and blacklisted a Russian military commander, describing him as a "butcher" of Bucha, per al-Jazeera. Col. Azatbek Omurbekov of the 64th Separate Motor Rifle Brigade led Russian troops as they "killed, raped and tortured civilians in Bucha," the EU said.

Approximately 1,000 bodies — including those of 31 children — have been recovered from Bucha according to Ukrainian authorities, the BBC reported.

Local residents react in front of a refrigerated lorry containing bodies of victims in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on April 28, 2022, amid Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Local residents react in front of a refrigerated lorry containing bodies of victims in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, on April 28, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.GENYA SAVILOV/AFP via Getty Images

Brown explained to inews how he's still on the front line over three months later, having headed initially to Ukraine to spend a week delivering aid.

He says that, now, it's normal to be woken up by tank fire.

"I don't give a fuck anymore. I just go back to bed. I'll get back into my sleeping bag with my helmet and body armor on. It's just become normality now," Brown told inews.

He described the challenging conditions of trying to save lives as battle rages.

When there's a report of a casualty, "nine out 10 times" someone will be under attack, meaning they have to "literally grab the patient, throw him on the back of a 4X4, and then I'll do everything on the way to the hospital," he told inews.

Local residents sit next next to a damaged apartment building in the town of Irpin, near Kyiv, on May 31, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Local residents sit next next to a damaged apartment building in the town of Irpin, near Kyiv, on May 31, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP via Getty Images

Brown told inews that his original team had 20 people, but now only two remain.

He says that he believes "everyone in the UK has forgotten about this."

Inews reports that the paramedic has gone to Ukraine under a program Dr. Alexy Titievsky — a Ukrainian-born doctor based in Northampton, England, who previously served as a Ukrainian military medic — organized.

Titievsky told the outlet: "I'm trying now to bring the level of field medicine in Ukraine to the level of the western standard."

*The name of the paramedic in this article, first published on June 5, has been changed to a pseudonym due to concerns for his safety.

Read the original article on Insider