Tuesday, 16 April ‘24

This week’s overview of key events and links to essential reading.

Tuesday, 16 April ‘24

This week’s overview of key events and links to essential reading.

Tuesday, 16 April, 2024


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Prosecutor to Investigate Footage of Execution of Ukrainian POWs

The Ukrainian police started a pre-trial investigation after a video showing Russian soldiers shooting three Ukrainian servicemen was disseminated on Telegram on April 7. The office of the prosecutor general of Ukraine reported that the shooting violated the laws and customs of war in combination with intentional murder as per Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code.  

The footage shows a representative of the Russian armed forces firing several shots, probably from an assault rifle, against unarmed, motionless Ukrainian soldiers. According to the description accompanying the video, the killing took place near Krynky, a village on the left bank of the Dnieper River in the southern region of Kherson. 

Two Sentenced for Brutal Treatment of Kherson Civilians

On March 27, the Suvorovsky district court of Odesa sentenced  two Russians to 12 years in absentia for their brutal treatment of civilians in the southern Kherson region in violation of the laws and customs of war (as per Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code. 

In spring 2022 Vladimir Leontiev, the head of Russia’s Novokakhov Military-Civil Administration and Valentin Motuzenko, an advisor to the head of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), were in the then-occupied Kherson region and ordered the illegal imprisonment of Oleg Baturin, a journalist of the Noviy den newspaper, the mayor of Tavriysk Mykola Rizak and the secretary of the Novokakhiv city council, Dmytro Vasiliev. The victims were kept in the occupied district police department and were interrogated and beaten in an attempt to get their cooperation with the occupying Russian forces.  

The two defendants’ attorney has 30 days to appeal the sentence. 

Russian Soldier Convicted of Murdering Woman

On April 2 Russian soldier Aleksandr Medelyaev was sentenced to 15 years in absentia for violating the laws and customs of war under Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code. The Dzerzhinsky district court of Kharkiv found the 40-year-old serviceman guilty of murdering a woman living in the city of Izyum, in Kharkiv region, in June 2022.  

According to the investigation, during the occupation of Izyum the victim met a Russian soldier who promised to help her leave Ukraine and find shelter in Russia. The woman followed him to a building so that she could call relatives. Medelyaev was one of the officers of the Russian tank brigade who lived in the building. An eyewitness to the crime identified the accused from a photo. 

The pre-trial investigation indicated jealousy and alcohol intoxication as potential motives, but the court dismissed them as unproven and confirmed the crime of murder during an international armed conflict. 

The court also partially satisfied the civil suit filed by the mother of the victim and charged Medelyaev 1 million hryvnias (about 25,000 US dollars) in moral damages. The convicted has 30 days to appeal the verdict.  

Ukrainian Artist Sentenced in Absentia for Collaboration

On March 26, the Rivne city court sentenced Ukrainian artist Ruzhena Rublyova to tenyears in absentia with confiscation of property for collaborationism. The court found her guilty of collaborative activity under Part 6 of Article 111-1 of the criminal code: the 57-year-old singer, who worked in the Kherson Regional Theatre for two decades and received the title of People's Artist of Ukraine in 2021, started cooperating with the Russian forces after the occupation of Kherson.  

On September 30, 2022, Rublyova performed in Moscow, at a concert dedicated to the “incorporation of new territories” of the Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions into the Russian Federation. According to the court's decision, several apartments will be confiscated from her as state income. Rublevova's lawyer has 30 days to appeal the verdict. 

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