Tuesday, 2 April ‘24

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

Tuesday, 2 April ‘24

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

Tuesday, 2 April, 2024


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Three Russian High Officials Issued Suspicion in Absentia

Ukraine’s security service (SBU) reported in absentia three Russian officials on suspicion of aiding and abetting an aggressive war under Part 5 of Article 27, Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 2 of Article 437 of the criminal code. The officials are Aleksandr Poshivay, Russia’s deputy minister of transport, Zakhary Dzhioev, head of the federal agency for sea and river transport, and Serhey Safonichev, head of the so-called Sea of Azov ports administration.  

According to the investigation, after the capture of the port city of Berdyansk in the south-eastern region of Zaporizhzhia in late February 2022, the officials organised the use of the local sea trade port to support Russia’s ministry of defence in its war efforts against Ukraine. This included using civilian vessels  to transfer Russian troops to the occupied regions of southern Ukraine, organising the construction of Russian fortifications and barriers on the territory of the Berdyansk seaport and its water area. Berdyansk remains under Russian occupation. 

Russian Soldier Issued Suspicion for Murder

Investigators of the security service (SBU) in the Kyiv region reported in absentia the suspicion against Russian military contractor Timur Seferov for killing a civilian in violation of the laws and customs of war in combination with intentional homicide (under Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code). According to the investigation, in March 2022 during the occupation of Mokrets, a village in Kyiv region, the 32-year-old, who served in the 15th separate motorised rifle brigade of Russia’s Central Military District, shot a 51-year-old civilian after he had refused to give Seferov his mobile phone for inspection. Investigators say the suspect fired three shots at the man who died in his house courtyard. 

Russian Sergeant Sentenced Over Bucha War Crimes 

On March 6, the Obolon District Court of Kyiv sentenced in absentia Russian sergent Nikita Akimov to ten years for the brutal treatment of the civilian population in March 2022, during the occupation of Bucha, a town in the Kyiv region. The court found him guilty of violating the laws and customs of war as per Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code. The 27-year-old, who hails from the region of Khabarovsk, in Russia’s far east, was among the first suspects for war crimes committed in Bucha. He was reported the suspicion in absentia in April 2022. 

The investigation established that Akimov abused two civilian men. He came to the home of one of them three times, beat him and ordered him to take his generator to the house where the Russian military was based. Akimov then ordered his subordinates to put the man in the basement. The victim testified in court that the sergeant removed his mask, said his name and that he was 25 years old. After Bucha was liberated the victim found someone with that name in a list of Russian military personnel published online and later identified Akimov from a a photo. Ukrainian investigative journalists helped to identify the Russian sergeant: they reported that, according to Russian media, Akimov died in spring 2022 and was buried on May 12, 2022 in his hometown of Komsomolsk-on-Amur.  

Ukraine Opens Investigation Into Destruction of Historic Mariupol Site

A pre-trial investigation has begun into the destruction of an historical burial site in the southern port city of Mariupol. According to media reports, the Russian occupation administration started to destroy a burial mound which dates back to the fifth century BC in the city’s central district. The mound is six metres high and has a diametre of 70 metres.  

The prosecutor general's office said in a statement that excavators were seen destroying the monument, adding that the action violated the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property and the Provisions of the IV Convention on the Laws and Customs of War on Land. The destruction aviolates the laws and customs of war as per Part 1 of Article 438 of Ukraine’s criminal code. 

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