Tuesday, 16 May ‘23

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

Tuesday, 16 May ‘23

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

Tuesday, 16 May, 2023


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Russian Colonel Suspected of Organising Kherson Torture Chambers 

The regional prosecutor's office in Kherson reported the suspicion to Russian colonel Aleksandr Naumenko for organising a torture chamber during the occupation of the southern port city. According to the investigation, Naumenko, deputy head of Russia’s National Guard Rosgvardia in the Rostov region, ordered the use of violence against illegally detained civilians. Three of his subordinates were also informed about the suspicion: rifleman Aleksandr Chilengirov, special radio operator Anver Muksimov and an employee of Rosgvardia’s Omon special unit, Aleksandr Bocharov

The four were informed in absentia of the suspicion of violation of the laws and customs of war - cruel treatment of civilians and the issuing of an order to this effect, based on a prior conspiracy by a group of persons (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code).

This is Numenko’s second suspicion. In September 2022, Ukraine’s security service (SBU) suspected he ordered the brutal treatment of civilians (Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code) in occupied Kherson. Investigators found that he also personally participated in dispersing peaceful meetings in the city. 

On May 11, Ukraine’s prosecutor general Andriy Kostin reported that more than 200 people were tortured in Kherson between March and October 2022 in the temporary detention centre. At least three prisoners are known to have died as a result and six were forcibly taken to the occupied territories. When Kyiv regained control of Kherson region, law enforcement officers found 11 torture chambers and 13 places of imprisonment. 

Russian Soldier to be Tried in Absentia for Murdering Izyum Resident

The Kharkiv regional prosecutor's office sent an indictment to the court against Russian soldier Aleksandr Medelyaev for violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder (Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code). Medelyaev, is serving with the Russian Forces’ 245th Guards motorised rifle regiment, was informed of the suspicion in absentia

In June 2022, a woman approached the headquarters of the Russian military in the then-occupied eastern town of Izyum, in the hope of using wifi to contact her relatives in the west of Ukraine. Medelyaev walked out of the building and shot the woman in the chest, killing her immediately. If convicted, he faces up to life imprisonment.

SBU Identifies Three Militants Suspected of Creating Mykolayiv Torture Chamber 

SBU investigators in the southern port region of Mykolaiv reported in absentia the suspicion of violation of laws and customs by a previous conspiracy by a group of persons to three Ukrainian citizens from the so-called Donetsk Peoples’ Republic (DPR). The accused are Sergiy Yesipov, commander of DPR’s 127th rifle regiment, Andriy Kolobov, commander of DPR’s reconnaissance detachment, and Oleksiy Teslenko, serviceman of DRP’s rifle regiment. Teslenko and Kolobov are also charged with treason as per Part 1 of Article 111 of the criminal code. 

Investigators found that in March 2022, so-called DPR’s 127th regiment controlled the village of Oleksandrivka, in the Mykolaiv region’s Bashtanskyy district. Yesipov was appointed as the village’s military commander. Subordinates acted on his orders and kidnapped and tortured residents. Investigators documented that the suspects detained four locals, including former soldiers of Ukraine’s armed forces, with the aim of pressuring them to give them information about the location of the Ukrainian army.

War Crimes Database Has Over 200,000 Names of Russian Soldiers

The Ukrainian National Police’s database for war crimes contains the names of over 200,000 Russian military officials, according to Andriy Nebytov, head of the main department of the National Police in Kyiv region. 

Nebytov told reporters that about 5,600 names referred to crimes committed in the region of Kyiv only and added that nearly 11,500 cases against Russian servicemen have been opened in the capital’s region, mostly related to the Article 438 of the criminal code about the violation of the laws and customs of war.

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