Tuesday, 26 September ‘23

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

Tuesday, 26 September ‘23

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

Tuesday, 26 September, 2023


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Russian Soldier Suspected of Torturing Civilians in a Village in Izyum Area

A Russian soldier has been informed in absentia of the suspicion of taking part in acts of torture in violation of the laws and customs of war by a group of persons according to a prior conspiracy (Part 2 of Aricle  28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code).

Kharkiv regional investigators found that in spring 2022 Sultan Pashtov, serving with the Chibis' battalion of the 16th separate brigade, was in the occupied village of Balaklia, in the district of Izyum about 90 kilometres south of Kharkiv. 

He is accused of participating in punitive raids and in the interrogations carried out in a torture chamber that the Russian forces had set up in the village’s police building. People were imprisoned in insanitary conditions without food and water and were subjected to torture, including electric shocks. 

Ukrainians Suspected of Deporting Prisoners from Kherson to Russia 

A Ukrainian citizen has been informed in absentia of the suspicion of ordering and organising the deportation of Ukrainian inmates to Russia, in violation of the laws and customs of war by a group of persons by prior conspiracy  (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code). 

In October 2022 Oleksiy Soroka, from Nova Zbur'ivka, a village in the Holoprystan district in the Kherson region, was appointed head of the Holoprystan correctional colony No 7. 

Police investigators found that Soroka ordered and coordinated the deportation to Russia of the jail’s prisoners and of convicts who had been taken from Kherson to the Holoprystan colony before Ukrainian forces regained control of the city in November 2022. 

A total of 1,700 prisoners previously sentenced by Ukrainian courts, were reportedly transferred in convoys from the Holoprystan colony to Russia, via Crimea. The whereabouts of some of the deportees remain unknown. 

In July, investigators reported in absentia to Yevgeny Sobolev, the de-facto head of the Kherson Region Prison Service Office, an accusation of violating the customs and laws of war for carrying out these deportation orders. 

Ukrainian Found Guilty of Distributing Material on Seizure of State Power

Dnipro’s district court of Cherkasy found Ukrainian citizen Serhiy P guilty of disseminating materials publicly calling for a violent change of Ukraine’s constitutional system and for the seizure of state power. In November 2022, the man published a post with such statements on his Facebook page.

Under Part 2 of the Article 109 of the criminal code these acts are punishable with sentences of up to five years. The court took into account the man's remorse, considered that his re-education was possible without isolation from society and sentenced him to conditional imprisonment with a probationary period of one year. 

The court also imposed the additional obligation to read six books from Cherkasy’s Lesya Ukrainka Library about the war in Donbass and write summaries with his impressions. 

ICC Officially Opens Kyiv Office 

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has officially opened an office in Kyiv. On September 14, Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin and ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan announced the establishment of the office, the court’s largest outside its headquarters in The Hague.

Kostin said that the office marks “a new chapter of [the] cooperation” between Ukraine and the ICC and “will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of responding to the crimes that Russia continues to commit against Ukraine and Ukrainians every day”. 

According to the Office of the General Prosecutor over 104,000 war crimes have been registered in Ukraine since the start of the invasion on February 24, 2022.

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