Tuesday, 25 April ‘23

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

Tuesday, 25 April ‘23

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

Tuesday, 25 April, 2023


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Registered War Crimes Cases Exceed 75,000 

More than 75,000 cases of war crimes committed by the Russian forces have been registered in Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s prosecutor general Andriy Kostin. Addressing the foreign affairs committee of the US House of Representatives on April 19, Kostin stated that “the evidence of war crimes is growing exponentially”. 

More than 13,000 criminal proceedings have been initiated in the southern port city of Kherson and its region alone, which returned to Kyiv’s control in November 2022.  

Kostin stated that Russian forces have been using sexual violence as a weapon of war: investigators documented over 60 cases of rape in Kherson alone, including of minors. 

SBU Reported Suspicion to the Head of Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant 

A suspicion has been reported to Oleh Romanenko, the de-facto director of Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear power plant, of the violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code) and of treason under martial law (Part 4 of Article 27, Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 2 of Article 111). The nuclear facility, Europe’s largest, has been under Russian occupation since March 11, 2022. The suspect was previously the chief engineer of the Balakovo nuclear power plant in the Saratov region of Russia.

Investigators found that between March 11 and November 2022, Romanenko disconnected Zaporizhzhia NPP from Ukraine’s energy system and subsequently managed all operations in the facility. He is also accused of inciting all employees, who are citizens of Ukraine, to cooperate with the Russian occupying administration, threatening them in case they disagreed. 

His actions, stated  the investigation, prevented Ukraine from accessing and using the facility to produce and transmit electricity to the national grid to supply civil infrastructure facilities. 

The report did not provide details, but Romanenko was likely to have been notified in absentia.

Russian Official Who Ordered Torture Identified

Police investigators in the Kharkiv region reported in absentia the suspicion of violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 2 of Article 28, Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code of Ukraine) to Russian soldier Anton Polyakov. 

The lieutenant colonel, call sign Seaman, commanded the 30th Motorised Rifle Brigade of Russia’s Central District during the occupation of Pisky–Radkivski, a village in Kharhiv’s  Izyum region.

He is accused of ordering subordinates to torture civilians and former members of the Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO), established in 2014 to counter Russian-backed forces in Donbas. In order to obtain information on pro-Ukrainian citizens and soldiers, his subordinates imprisoned individuals in basements with no food and water and tortured them. Two former ATO participants were branded with a red-hot iron.

Russian Commander Accused of Zaporizhzhia Torture Identified

Investigators in the Zaporizhzhia region reported a suspicion of violating the laws and customs of war, committed by a group of persons following a prior conspiracy to Russian lieutenant colonel Ayuba Eldarov (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code). Eldarov, declared a suspect in absentia, heads the battalion of the 96th regiment of the operational assignment of Russian Guards’ 46th separate brigade.

In May 2022, Eldarov was put in charge of Chernihivka, a village in the occupied Berdyansk district in Zaporizhzhya region. He is accused of repression against civilians with the help of punitive squads and participation in illegal detentions and torture, including with the use of poisonous chemicals and electric shocks. 

Russian Security Official Accused

Investigators in the Kherson region informed Sergey Sinitsyn, an official of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in absentia of the suspicion of ordering the brutal treatment of the civilian population, committed by a group of persons (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code). 

According to the investigation, between March and November 2022, Sinitsyn, call sign Sabir, coordinated punitive raids as part of the so-called temporary operational group No 8, created in the then-occupied southern Kherson region. He allegedly personally ordered the illegal detention and treatment of a 47-year-old citizen of Kherson.

The suspicion is Sinitsyn’s second: in December 2022 he was informed of suspicion in absentia for encroaching on the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine.

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