Tuesday, 3 October ‘23

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

Tuesday, 3 October ‘23

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

Tuesday, 3 October, 2023


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Russian Soldier Issued Suspicion in Absentia for Shelling Civilians Houses

Security service investigators in the Cherkasy region issued a suspicion in absentia against Russian soldier Stanislav Shmatov for violating the laws and customs of war, committed with the complicity and prior conspiracy of a group of persons, under Part 2 of Article 27, Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code. 

According to the investigation, in 2022 Shmatov served as a mechanic-driver of an armoured personnel carrier in the 15th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of Alexandria, stationed in Russia’s south-western region of Samara. In April 2022, he reportedly crossed the state border of Ukraine from the Russian region of Belgorod and entered Pisky-Radkivski, a village in Izyum district, Kharkiv region. 

Together with accomplices, Shmatov carried out an illegal order from an unidentified  commander and shot at six civilian houses in the village’s Mir Street with guns, grenade launchers, large-calibre and personal weapons of various calibres. Civilians, both adults and children, were sheltering in the houses. 

In September 2022 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty journalists verified SBU audio intercepts and identified Shmatov as a Russian serviceman who, in a telephone conversation with his father, bragged about torturing Ukrainian prisoners of war and shelling the homes of civilians.

Former Lawyer of Pro-Russian Lawmaker Medvedchuk Investigated 

Investigators in the Kherson region informed in absentia former Ukrainian lawyer Valentyn Rybin about the suspicion of collaborative activity as per Part 5 of Article 111-1 of the criminal procedure. Rybin was the defence lawyer of former lawmakers Viktor Medvedchuk and pro-Kremlin blogger Anatoly Shary, who are both suspected of treason. 

As Russian forces launched the full-scale invasion in February 2022, Rybin left Ukraine and later returned to Kherson region’s temporarily occupied areas. In November 2022 he was at the helm of the “organisational and legal department of the Ministry of Information Policy of the Kherson Region of the Russian Federation” where he managed personnel and budget. 

Prosecutors Record 235 Cases of Sexual Violence 

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine has recorded 235 cases of sexual violence committed by Russian military since February 24, 2022. Russian soldiers are accused of having abused 150 women and 85 men, including 13 minors (12 girls and one boy), in the nine occupied regions. Most cases were registered in the regions of Kherson (72), Donetsk (55), Kyiv (52) and Kharkiv (21).

“Sexual violence by the Russian military is often directed against those who identify as Ukrainian and have pro-Ukrainian views. We also have evidence that these crimes are not just tolerated, but directly encouraged by the command, in particular, against mothers, wives and sisters of servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine,” said Myroslava Krasnoborova, 

Ukraine’s liaison prosecutor to Eurojust, during a panel discussion about sexual violence in the conflict held on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York.

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