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Who killed Rita Horbyk? A war crime in Ukraine, heartbreak and a flawed investigation

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globalnews.ca

Unearthing the evidence of Russia’s war crimes in east Ukraine The incident is among thousands under investigation by Ukrainian authorities, who are treating Russia’s invasion not only as a war but also as a series of war crimes.But it reveals the challenges of that approach, especially during a large-scale armed conflict like the Ukraine war.An investigation by Global News has found that overwhelmed prosecutors failed to conduct basic groundwork before publicly announcing their findings and their suspect, a Russian commander.The family was not interviewed.

Captured Russian soldiers who were prosecution witnesses were allowed to leave the country in prisoner swaps. A crucial piece of evidence, the car in which Rita was killed, was sold.“The world should know what happened,” said Rita’s mother, Liudmyla Horbyk.But that is the problem: What happened?Rita was a Grade 7 student at the Vilkhivka School, an only child who lived with her parents and grandfather on his property in Stepanki, a village east of Kharkiv.She collected books, loved animals and made sure the local cats and dogs fed.

She was a dancer and was always doing something with her hands. She hoped to become a dentist and was learning Korean online, dreaming of travelling to Seoul.

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