People trying to leave Zhytomyr for Kyiv were shot and burned right on the highway. Photos of those killed were published by the Ukrainian media. The information was confirmed by TarasDidich, head of the village of Dmitrovka. According to him, Russian soldiers killed people 25 kilometers from the Ukrainian capital on the border between the villages Mila and Mriya in the direction from Zhitomir to Kiev, where the Babushkin Sad hotel and restaurant complex is located on the right side of the road and gas stations on the left. This is confirmed by comparing the photos taken after the murders and the photos of this area available on Google maps. Didich told The Insider at least 29 bodies were found.
«I didn't witness the killing, I witnessed the aftermath,» Didichsaid. »We saw what was done there. 29 bodies are accounted for, how many more - it's hard to say now, given that some people were burned there. Considering that demining has not been completed yet, I don't know what's going on around there. The killings began on March 7 and continued until the end of March. Most of the people were killed in the beginning, when many people still were unaware of what was going on there and kept coming. The last family, a husband and wife, arrived towards the end of March and were wounded but survived. Many did not know what was going on. When the humanitarian corridor was granted, they thought they could pass through there, they did not see that the column turned right in front of our city, they went straight ahead and got hit by gunfire there. They survived, although they were both wounded. There were tanks and BMPs standing there, they were shot with assault rifles, machine guns, burned. I don't know why they did it. Because of hatred, I can't explain it any other way.»
A video published by the German TV channel ZDF shows a white car driving on the oncoming lane, followed by a black car. A few meters down the road, the white car stops, the driver jumps out with his hands held up, looking at the BMP ahead, the driver is killed. Another man is then shown trying to escape. The TV channel claims the victims were newlyweds. The BMP has the markings of the Eastern Military District of the Russian Federation, the letter »V». The murder took place in the same area - between the Babushkin Sad hotel complex and the gas stations on the other side of the road.
Earlier, mass murders of civilians in the Kiev region were reported, especially in the town of Bucha, from which Russian troops had been hastily retreating. When Bucha was liberated, journalists saw a horrifying scene: the streets were littered with the bodies of dead civilians, including women and elderly people, some with their hands tied behind their backs and some dead from gunshots to the back of their heads. The Insider spoke to Bucha residents, and they described how the Russian military shot random passersby, looted homes, and prevented people from leaving the town.