Mrs. Subacheva quickly realized that she had seen this same hand several times while teaching Mrs. Filkina make-up lessons before the war.

The boiler room operator had contacted Ms. Subacheva in February to inquire about manicures, with the ambition of developing her Instagram account. She was excited to attend an upcoming concert by Olia Polyakova, the Ukrainian pop star.

They last saw each other on February 23, the day before the Russian invasion, Ms Subacheva recalling her saying: “My daughter, in my old age I finally understood the most important thing – you must love you and live for yourself. And finally, I will live as I want.

Ms. Filkina’s death was confirmed to reporters by one of her daughters, Olga Shchyruk, who managed to leave Bucha after the war began. She said that on March 6, she learned that her mother had been shot while riding her bicycle home.

“A child will always wait for his mother”

Ms. Shchyruk held out hope for a month that her mother might still be alive, but heard nothing. “A child will always wait for its mother,” she wrote on Telegram, adding that she was looking for Ms Filkina’s body to bury.

The scenes of bodies littering the streets and shallow graves in Bucha sparked outcry from world leaders this week and a new push to isolate Russia on the world stage.

Images of devastation in towns surrounding kyiv have emerged after a Ukrainian counter-offensive forced the Russians to retreat to eastern regions, where they are now poised for a fresh assault.


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