Yuriy Nechyporenko and his father, Ruslan, were cycling to Bucha’s administration building where aid was being handed out. Electricity, gas and water had been cut, and essentials were in short supply in the town, one of the first to be occupied by Russian forces as they advanced on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.

Yuriy and his father hoped to pick up some medicine and food. Yuriy said a Russian soldier stopped him and his father on Tarasivska St. They immediately raised their hands.

Speaking to the BBC by phone alongside his mother, Alla, the 14-year-old gave his account of what happened next. “We told them that we weren’t carrying any weapons and that we didn’t pose any danger,” he said.

“Then my father turned his head my way, and that’s when he got shot… He was shot twice in the chest, right where the heart is. Then he fell.”

At that point, the teenager said, the soldier shot him in his left hand and he fell too. While he was on the ground, he said, he was shot again, this time in the arm.

“I was lying on my stomach, I couldn’t see anything that was happening around me,” Yuriy said. The soldier, he said, shot again, aiming at his head. “[But] the bullet went through my hood.”

Yuriy said the soldier shot again, this time at his father’s head. But Ruslan was already dead. “I had a small panic attack, lying there with my wounded arm underneath me. I saw that my hand was bleeding,” he said.


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