Tuesday, 21 November ‘23

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

Tuesday, 21 November ‘23

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

Tuesday, 21 November, 2023


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Two Suspects Identified in Murder of Ukrainian Children's Author

Kharkiv police investigators reported in absentia the suspicion of violating the laws and customs of war against two soldiers of the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic rifle regiment.

Company commander Vladyslav Neskorodyev, 33, and 50-year-old machine gunner Serhiy Udodenko, are both natives of Luhansk. They are suspected of intentional murder, ordering and complicity in cruel treatment of civilians (Part 2 of Article 27, Part 1, Part 2 of Article 28, Part 1, Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code).

Last year, the suspects were in the then-occupied village of Kapitolivka in Izyum district, Kharkiv oblast, where 49-year-old Ukrainian children's writer Volodymyr Vakulenko lived. An outspoken opponent of the actions of the Russian Federation, the author was detained, questioned and beaten. 

On March 24, 2022, according to the investigation, Neskorodyev ordered his subordinate machine gunner to shoot Vakulenko. The writer died on the spot; his body was later found in a ditch.

Neskorodyev and Udodenko are also suspected of torturing a civilian and killing three others.

Life Imprisonment for Treason

On November 13, the Kyiv district court of Kharkiv found P, a 38-year-old resident of Kharkiv, guilty of offences including treason and sentenced him to life imprisonment with confiscation of property.

According to the investigation, the convicted person used the Vkontakte social network, banned in Ukraine, to give two Russian informants details of the location of weapons, equipment and personnel of the Ukrainian armed forces. On February 28, 2022, he sent addresses which included the coordinates of the Kharkiv regional state administration. On March 1, 2022, the Russian army shelled the building, killing 31 people.

P was also convicted of the dissemination of materials justifying the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, illegal processing of firearms and illegal handling of weapons (Part 2 of Article 111, Part 2 Article 436-2, Part 1 Article 263-1, Part 1 Article 263 of the criminal code of Ukraine) 

The man, who pleaded not guilty and submitted an application for exchange to Russia, has 30 days to appeal the court decision.

Russian Propagandist Sentenced

On November 14, the Shevchenkivsky district court of Kyiv sentenced in absentia 48-year-old Russian propagandist Armen Gasparyan to ten years in prison with confiscation of property for his public calls for the genocide of the Ukrainian people, the violent change of the constitutional order and encroachment on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine (Part 2 of Article 442, Part 3 of Article 109, Part 2 of Article 110 of the criminal code of Ukraine). 

In his 2018 book Denazification of Ukraine. The Country of Unlearned Lessons, Gasparyan 'called on the military-political leadership of Russia to launch a large-scale armed aggression against the Ukrainian people.

The term of serving the punishment will be counted from the moment of his actual detention, and Gasparyan’s defence has 30 days to appeal.

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