Zelensky mourns family killed while fleeing Kyiv suburb

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Zelensky mourns family killed while fleeing Kyiv suburb

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has vowed to hunt down and kill “every bastard” who murdered a mom and her two kids fleeing a Kyiv suburb.

A wrenching snapshot of the tragic family’s bodies in the aftermath of a Sunday attack on Irpin captured the world’s attention. A man also seen in the photo lying on the pavement was later identified as a family member who died, too.

“A family was killed in [Irpin] today. A man, a woman and two children. Right on the road. … When they were just trying to get out of town. To escape,” Zelensky said, speaking in Ukrainian in a broadcast late Sunday. “The whole family. How many such families have died in Ukraine! We will not forgive. We will not forget.”

“We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war. On our land. We will find every bastard. Which shot at our cities, our people. Which bombed our land. Which launched rockets. Which gave the order and pressed ‘start,’” he continued.


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“There will be no quiet place on this Earth for you. Except for the grave.”

Body covered by sheet.
A man and a woman with two children were killed in a blast in Irpin.
Diego Herrera/Contacto via ZUMA Press
A Ukrainian family runs as artillery echoes nearby.
A Ukrainian family runs while fleeing Irpin.
Emilio Morenatti/AP

The names and ages of the family have not been released, although reports said the daughter was 8 years old and her brother a teen.

Other photos and video from the devastating scene showed residents attempting to flee the fighting near a damaged bridge that once connected to the capital city before a massive explosion. 

About a dozen Ukrainian soldiers were nearby when the explosion went off Sunday, including one in a video who appeared to be injured in the blast. The soldiers were there not to fight but rather to assist fleeing civilians, according to reports.

Volodymyr Zelensky.
“We will punish everyone who committed atrocities in this war,” Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed.
Ukraine Presidency Press Office/AFP via Getty Images
Abandoned strollers are pictured under a destroyed bridge.
Abandoned strollers are pictured under a destroyed bridge.
Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
Residents cross the destroyed bridge as they flee.
Residents attempting to flee the fighting near a damaged bridge.
Roman Pilpey/EPA

In another photo from the location, a man lay on the pavement with a blanket over his body and his suitcase still by his side. 

In the same Sunday broadcast, Zelensky, who has repeatedly called for the US and other major European nations to institute a no-fly zone over Ukraine, said the “audacity of the aggressor is a clear signal that sanctions against Russia are not enough.”

The president also slammed Russia for the false promise of securing humanitarian corridors so people could flee.

Ukrainian serviceman Andriy Yermolayev.
About a dozen Ukrainian soldiers were nearby when the explosion went off Sunday,
Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images
A Ukrainian soldier walks past the corpses of a family.
Soldiers were in Irpin to assist fleeing civilians.
Diego Herrera/Contacto via ZUMA Press
The body of a civilian is seen on a destroyed bridge.
The body of a civilian is seen on a destroyed bridge.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

“This is murder. Deliberate murder,” he said. “And I have not heard a reaction from any world leader today.”

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