Torn apart by war, two sisters hug tightly as they reunite amongst the carnage of Bucha

But nearby was a checkpoint manned by Chechen soldiers, who Ms Liubarets described as the worst of all the invading soldiers.

The family moved again, seeking shelter in the basement of a kindergarten. But even here they were not safe, as Ms Liubarets said nearby Russian soldiers were torturing and murdering civilians.

“I don’t want to share details of what I saw because my children are right there,” she said in a phone call. “But I can show you places where people were tortured and murdered with their hands tied.”

Ukraine has accused Russia of committing war crimes in Bucha after bodies were found shot through the head, including some with their hands tied behind their back. Moscow has called the evidence from Bucha a “monstrous forgery”. News of the atrocities have hindered talks between Ukraine and Russia in Turkey, which has been attempting to mediate an end to the six-week war.

Ms Liubarets’ sister, Inna, had undergone her own ordeal during the Russian occupation, seeking shelter in basements. In her street, Russian armoured vehicles had been destroyed in the street, with explosions destroying many of the homes, including Inna’s.

Nearly a week after the Russian withdrawal, the two sisters were finally reunited on Thursday. The reunion was captured by journalists on the scene, who photographed Ms Liubarets, her husband and two children, walking to meet her sister whom she had not seen since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

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