Tuesday, 21 May ‘24

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

Tuesday, 21 May ‘24

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

Tuesday, 21 May, 2024


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Investigation Into Capture of Civilians in Vovchansk Opens

The prosecutor's office in Kharkiv reported that, together with the security service (SBU), it had started a pre-trial investigation into the violation of the laws and customs of war following the capture of civilians in the Vovchansk community in early May 2024. According to the press statement, during the offensive of the Russian army in the Kharkiv region Russians "forcibly detained and continue to detain people in the basement. Local residents were placed in the premises on May 11, 2024”. 

The prosecutor's office added that some civilians had managed to escape and reached Ukrainian forces on May 13. 

Russians Involved in Shelling Identified

The ministry of defence reported that it had identified Russian military personnel involved in the ongoing shelling of Ukraine with Kinzhal aereo-ballistic missiles. The ministry's intelligence agency released a list of 29 names of military commanders, air force personnel and seven technical personnel officers from the 44th separate long-range aviation regiment of Russia’s Air Force. The regiment is stationed in the Savasleyka airfield, in Russia’s western region of Nizhny Novgorod.  

The Ukrainian intelligence has also identified officers of the 22nd Heavy Bombardment Aviation Division, stationed at the Engels airfield, in the Saratov region, who were reportedly involved in missile attacks on the civilian infrastructure of Ukraine by Kh-22 cruise missiles /X-32, and X-101/X-555/X-55.  

Kherson Police Investigating 2022 Shooting of Civilians

National police in the southern region of Kherson reported that they are investigating the killing of local residents in the early days of the Russia’s all-out invasion of Ukraine. Between February 24 and 28, 2022, Russian forces shot ten men between 23 and 53 years of age in the outskirts of Chornobayivka, a village about ten kilometres north of the city port of Kherson. Investigators are collecting evidence and looking for eyewitnesses. 

Russian Official in Crimea Issued Suspicion for Propaganda of War Among Children 

SBU investigators reported in absentia a suspicion against Dmitry Polkovnikov, the director of the so-called Regional Centre for Military Service and Military Patriotic Education in occupied Crimea. The 53-year-old is accused of violating the laws and customs of war, and of glorifying in the media persons carrying out armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine (under Part 1 of Article 438 and Part 3 of Article 436-2 of the criminal code.   

According to the investigation, in 2022 Polkovnikov took on the position and organised and carried out propaganda among children and teenagers, to support their voluntary entry into Russia’s armed forces, an activity prohibited under international humanitarian law. Polkovnikov featured in a propaganda film in which he publicly approved and encouraged involving children in training for he Russian army. 

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