A 10-year-old Ukrainian girl was shot dead by ‘drunk Russian soldiers’ in front of her uncle after gunfire broke out in a village near Kyiv.
Anastasia Stouk, also known as Nastya, was killed in Shybene, around 40 miles from Ukraine’s capital, on 28 February after Russian troops reportedly started “shooting everywhere they could see” after a Ukrainian boy found a gun and fired it in the air.
The soldiers refused to allow Nastya’s mother, Luba, to go to the cemetery so she had to be buried in the garden, her cousin Anya Stoluk, 18, said.
Anya’s adoptive mother Vera Dmitrienko told The Times: “People say that the soldiers just got so bored. They were even telling this to people in the village.
“They looted all the stores in the village, of course they got a lot of alcohol from the stores and got drunk and started shooting.
“They shot into Nastya’s house, she was there with her uncle, and she died immediately.
“Her uncle was taken to hospital and we still don’t have any information from him.”
Dmitrienko said that the soldiers had started shooting after a Ukrainian teenage boy found a gun and fired it in the air.
She added: "The soldiers heard it but since they were so drunk they didn’t know where it was from so they just started shooting everywhere they could see.
“They shot in four houses and in one of those houses was Nastya."
Anya said that a friend in the village told her at the weekend that Russian troops were taking away people’s phones and there was no electricity or food.
She said soldiers were ‘breaking’ into people’s homes and would “beat you up if you don’t let them take your food”.
Russian troops are killing children ‘consciously and cynically’.
Almost 1,000 children have already been wounded in the conflict in Ukraine, according to the Ukrainian government, while 331 civilians, including at least 28 children, have been killed.
A mother and two children were killed by a mortar shell in Irpin near Kyiv on Sunday (6 March) as hundreds of civilians tried to flee.
The attack came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s wife pleaded with international media to “tell the terrible truth” that Vladimir Putin’s troops are killing children “consciously and cynically”.
Olena Zelenska said in a post on Instagram that Russians had been killing Ukrainian children since Putin’s forces invaded on 24 February, and called on Nato to implement a no-fly zone over Ukraine to “save our children”.
Moscow has called its actions in Ukraine a “special military operation” and the Russian military is slowly advancing towards the capital of Kyiv.
Ukrainians are continuing to flee their homes as the conflict escalates, with the United Nations (UN) reporting that around 1.5 million people have left the country since the invasion started.
The UK government has said it is now stepping up the pace of admissions for refugees fleeing Ukraine, amid continued criticism over delays in issuing visas.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps acknowledged there were “lessons to be learned” in its response to the crisis, but said the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky want as many people as possible to remain in the region so they can quickly return to rebuild the country when it is safe to do so.
He told Sky News: “President Zelensky and the Ukrainian government have told me that they do not want people to move far away, if at all possible, from the country, because they want people to be able to come back.
“We are really leaning into this, at the same time respecting Ukraine’s wishes, the government’s wishes, not to pull people a long way away from Ukraine.”
Support people fleeing the devastating conflict in Ukraine: donate to the DEC appeal
Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) charities and their local partners are in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries providing food, water, shelter and medical assistance. Learn more and donate what you can today
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