(NEW YORK) — The images of five bodies found fatally shot in a basement in Bucha, Ukraine, with their hands tied behind their backs, apparently tortured and executed, alerted the world to possible war crimes.

The images, revealed just over a week ago, included the son of Galyna Matyoshko, who spoke to ABC News from a monastery where she had taken refuge.


The Ukrainian mother said her son Serhiy was helping evacuees when the Russians arrived.

“They came like a hurricane, causing so much pain. For what?” said Matyoshko. “You can’t even imagine this pain. My soul is crying. God forbid this happens to anyone.”

Matyoshko said she has the images of her son’s body on her phone. Despite her pain, she is keeping them so that the world can see what happened to her son.


“I didn’t want to delete them; I wanted the whole world to see it and know that it’s a fact,” she said. “I’m not holding on to them to hurt myself, I want everyone to know that this isn’t fake. That this is my son, that this happened to me and my son.”

According to Matyoshko, her son was helping evacuate women and children from the houses near the Bucha summer camp when he disappeared along with a friend who was doing the same on March 12. Both men’s bodies were found in the basement.

“I don’t know how long he was there, he lost half of his weight. I don’t know if they fed him or not. How? For what? I fed this child for myself, for joy,” said Matyoshko.


Matyoshko said that the official report from the police crime investigators said that her son was killed by two gunshots. Unofficially, she says she was told by police that they had found eight gunshots and multiple knife wounds on the body.

Russian officials have denied all allegations surrounding what was found in the Bucha basement.

Matyoshko said she wanted to share a message with Vladimir Putin.


“Look at what you did to us,” she said. “What is our fault? What have I done wrong? Why am I crying at a stranger’s place, with no home to live in? You have children; what if the same happened to them? And when our people come to tell you ‘it’s all fake,’ would you believe them?”

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