Tuesday, 19 March ‘24

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

Tuesday, 19 March ‘24

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

Tuesday, 19 March, 2024


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Ukrainian Former Judge Suspected of Treason

Prosecutors reported a suspicion in absentia against former judge Vitaly Snegiriov for treason under martial law under Part 2 of Article 111 of the criminal code. 

According to the investigation, in 2022 and 2023, the 45-year-old collected and transferred confidential information about Ukrainian judges and the military to an employee of Russia’s security service (FSB), via the messaging app Telegram. He was a member of closed chats on messaging apps like Viber and Telegram where he allegedly collected data, photos, phone numbers and positions of judges with an active pro-Ukrainian position. In particular, the investigation found that he shared screenshots from the closed Judicial Community of Ukraine group in Viber. 

The investigation also found that Snegiriov handed over a photo of a Ukrainian military man who was captured by Russia to be potentially used for blackmailing his son.

Snegiriov previously served as a judge of the Bryankiv district court of the Luhansk region, in eastern Ukraine but has not worked as a judge for the Ukrainian justice system since 2014; in 2017 he was transferred to the Novozavodsky court in Chernihiv but did not arrive and in 2019 the Supreme Council of Justice opened a disciplinary case against him. According to the prosecutor's office, he lives in the Russian Federation. It is unclear when he moved there, but he obtained a Russian passport in 2020. The media reported his involvement in businesses in the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic, which is controlled by Russia.

Russian Soldier Sentenced in Absentia for Robbery

On February 28, the Kulyikivsky district court of the Chernihiv region sentenced Russian soldier Andrei Lozhnikov to ten years in absentia for robbing civilians in collusion with a group of persons in violation of the laws and customs of war under Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code. 

In March 2022, the 43-year-old from the Kemerovo region, in southern Siberia, was in the occupied village of Vyshneve where, together with an accomplice he threatened a peasant and took his tractor trailer, which was attached to a KAMAZ military truck. On the same day, the accused, with other accomplices, took 440 bags of mineral fertilizers from a local farm and loaded them into the stolen trailer.

The owners of the trailer and the farm recognised Lozhnikov in court from a photo, but did not know his last name, only his first name. The soldiers’ defence has 30 days to appeal.

Russian Security Employee Issued Suspicion for Torture

Investigators of Ukraine’s security service (SBU) in Kharkiv reported the suspicion in absentia against Russian citizen Maksim Zhivilo for brutal treatment of the civilian population in a conspiracy with a group of persons (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438). Zhivilo, 52, is an employee of the Russian Security Service (FSB). 

According to the investigation, in April 2022, Zhivilo took part in the torture of a 38-year-old resident of Vovchansk, a town in the Kharkiv region. Russian soldiers arrested the man in the street, tied him up and took him to a torture chamber set up in the local prosecutor's office building. There they beat him, tortured him with electric shocks, pierced his lips and gums and filed his teeth. According to the investigation, Zhivilo, as an FSB official, participated in the violence perpetrated to force the victim to cooperate with the Russian forces. The victim was kept in the torture chamber for 86 days.

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