Nine members of a family, including two small children, were found dead in occupied Volnovakha, a territory under Russian control since March 2022.
Ukrainian prosecutors have initiated criminal proceedings, but the chances of an independent investigation are slim. The family had previously clashed with Russian soldiers, leading many to suspect their involvement in the murders.
According to Human Rights in Ukraine, the family had gathered to celebrate Natalia Horkun's birthday when they were killed.
The victims included Natalia, her two children, and other family members. The incident is believed to have occurred after a dispute between the family's patriarch, Andriy Kapkanets, and Russian soldiers.
The soldiers had demanded that the family vacate their home for military use, which Kapkanets refused.
Ukraine has initiated criminal proceedings for violation of war laws and intentional homicide, carrying a sentence of up to life imprisonment. However, Russia's Investigative Committee is also conducting an inquiry, albeit only for 'murder,' casting doubt on the likelihood of a thorough investigation.
This is not the first time Russian soldiers have been implicated in crimes in occupied territories. Reports indicate that armed men, likely from the Caucuses, had previously threatened the family after Kapkanets refused to give up his home.
The soldiers returned on October 27 and are suspected of killing all nine family members.