Tuesday, 30 April ‘24

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

Tuesday, 30 April ‘24

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

Tuesday, 30 April, 2024


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Three Identified Over Murder of Lithuanian Director in Mariupol

The office of the prosecutor general published the decision of Lithuania’s Vilnius City District Court on the identification of three Ukrainian nationals from the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) as suspects in the murder of Lithuanian film director Mantas Kvedaravičius in Mariupol in March 2022.  

The accused, all from the Donetsk region, are: Bespalov Boris, call sign Bes, born in 1989 and registered as a resident in the village of Komunarivka; Vyacheslav Kostruba, call sign Perun, born in 1988, registered in the village of Lukovo and living in Mariupol and Pavlo Musienko, nicknamed Pastet, born in 1993 and living in the village of Druzhkivka. 

According to the suspicion, Kvedaravicius  was in Mariupol to film the Russian occupation of the southern port city and helped to evacuate civilians. He was detained at gunpoint on March 27. No later than April 1, Kvedaravičius was killed on the street with no less than five shots from automatic weapons. The body was left on the street along Mir Avenue. The prosecutor's petition states that Bespalov, Kostruba and Musienko are outside Lithuania and may have Russian citizenship.  

Two Russians Suspected of Disconnecting Zaporizhzhya NPP from Ukraine’s Grid

Investigators of Ukraine’s security services issued a suspicion in absentia against Russian citizens Eduard Atakishchev and Andrey Gorbunov for the violation of the laws and customs of war and incitement to treason (under art 2 of Article 28, Part 1 of Article 438, Part 4 of Article 27 and Part 2 of Article 111 of the criminal code). 

The two are former employees of the nuclear power plant in Russia’s Rostov region and were appointed deputy director and chief engineer of Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear power plan after Russian forces seized it October 2022. According to the investigation, the suspects organised the NPP’s disconnection from Ukraine’s unified energy system and were engaged in the integration of the facility into the structure of Rosatom, Russia’s state atomiс energy agency. They are also suspected of inciting Ukrainian workers in the facility to cooperate and conclude contracts with the NPP’s occupation administration. 

On April 12, 2024 the Leninsky district court of Zaporizhzhia sentenced the NPP’s former deputy chief engineer, Yury Chernichuk in absentia to ten years in prison. He was found guilty of aiding the aggressor state (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 1 of Article 111-2 of the criminal code) for voluntarily cooperating with the occupation authorities and heading the facility in the autumn of 2022.  

Sexual Violence Against Men

Ukraine’s prosecutor general Andriy Kostin stated that 290 cases of conflict-related sexual violence were documented in Ukraine, 102 against men and 188 against women. Among them 15 were against minors, 14 of whom were girls. 

Kostin said that “conflict-related sexual violence (CSV) is the most silenced crime. Such crimes against men are even more stigmatised. But we see that during the Russian aggression, sexual violence against men is almost as common as against women”.  

The prosecutor's office also noted that recent reports of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission showed that more than half of the interviewed Ukrainian male prisoners of war were subjected to various types of sexual violence. Ukrainian investigative journalists from Slidstvo.Info produced a documentary film about sexual violence against Ukrainian men committed by the Russian military in the Kherson torture camps. Kherson prosecutors referred one of these cases to court in March 2024. 

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