Tuesday, 25 June ‘24

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

Tuesday, 25 June ‘24

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

Tuesday, 25 June, 2024


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Investigation Opened into Beheading of Ukrainian POW 

Ukrainian law enforcement officers started a pre-trial investigation into the beheading of a Ukrainian soldier in Donetsk region under the violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder (Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code).  

Ukraine’s prosecutor general Andriy Kostin reported that his office was informed that the commander of a Russian unit in the Volnova district of the Donetsk region ordered soldiers not to capture Ukrainian servicemen, but to kill them by beheading and that one instance was recorded in the eastern. He stated that during an aerial reconnaissance the Ukrainian military identified one of its armoured vehicles, damaged, with the severed head of a Ukrainian soldier on it.  

Case of Russian Soldier who Shot Ukrainian Prisoner Sent to Court 

Prosecutors in Zaporizhzhia sent to court the case of a Russian soldier, accused of shooting a Ukrainian prisoner of war in January 2024 in violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder (Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code). The indictment does not name him, but open sources indicate that he is Dmitry Kurashov, a prisoner of war from Russia’s western region of Perm. 

According to the investigation, on January 6, 2024, a Russian gunner opened fire on a Ukrainian prisoner of war during an assault on Ukrainian positions near the village of Priyutne in Zaporizhzhia’s Pologiv district. The Ukrainian had put down his weapon, left the dugout and raised his hands, thereby confirming his intention to surrender. However, he received a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. 

Ukrainian forces captured 25-year-old Kurashov in late January 2024 and handed him over to law enforcement officers. If found guilty, he faces ten to 15 year or life imprisonment. 

Ukraine to Create a Registry to Document Cases of Sexual Violence  

Viktoriia Litvinova, Ukraine's deputy prosecutor general, stated that her office was working on a national registry to document cases of sexual violence allegedly committed by Russian forces. Talking to reporters on the International Day of Combating Sexual Violence Caused by War on June 19, she said that the registry was created out of a pilot project that had already resulted in the convictions of five people in absentia.  

Litvinova said 303 cases of conflict-related sexual violence had been registered since the start of the full-scale invasion in early 2022, with 112 involving male and 191 involving female victims.  The registry could be used to make claims for financial compensation for the victims from Russia in the future. The five convictions resulted from sexual assault allegations in areas attacked or occupied by Russian forces, in Kyiv and the cities of Kherson and Chernihiv. 

Russian General Issued Suspicion for Occupation of Kharkiv Region 

Ukraine’s security service (SBU) issued a suspicion in absentia against Russian General Ivan Popov for waging an aggressive war, committed by a group of persons based on a prior conspiracy, as per Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 2 of Article 437 of the criminal code. Popov commands the 58th Combined Arms Army of the Southern Military District of the Russian Federation. 

According to the investigation, the 49-year-old led the occupation of the Kharkiv region from the onset of Russia’s full-scale war in late February 2022. Popov was then the chief-of- staff of the 11th Army Corps of the Baltic Fleet of Russia’ Western Military District and the commander of the Balaklia unit, which took part in the capture of territories in the districts of Kharkiv, Chuguyiv and Izyum. After the Ukrainian forces regained control of the region, Popov was transferred to the southern front, where he commanded Russian troops in region of Zaporizhzhya and the left bank of the Kherson region. 

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