Tuesday, 30 May ‘23

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

Tuesday, 30 May ‘23

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

Tuesday, 30 May, 2023


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Kazak Wagner Fighter Convicted 

The Donetsk regional prosecutor's office sentenced a Kazak citizen to nine years in prison for his participation in an armed conflict, military or violent actions (Part 4 of Article 447 of the criminal code). The accused, whose name has not been made public, fought in Ukraine with Wagner, a Russian private military company (PMC). 

The court proved that in October 2022, the accused, from Kazakstan’s northern Taiynsha district, was serving a sentence for rape in a Russian colony when he signed up to fight in Ukraine with the PMC. The following month, he was transferred to Russia’s southwestern region of Rostov, signed a monthly contract for 200,000 rubles ( 2,500 US dollars) and started training. 

The man fought in the city of Kreminna, Luhansk region, and Yakovlivka, a village in Bakhmut district, Donetsk region. He is currently in custody. 

Suspicion Against Russian General Who Led Occupation of Kharkiv Region

Ukrainian investigators reported in absentia Lieutenant General Andrey Ruzynskyi about the suspicion of conducting aggressive military actions committed by a group of persons based on a prior conspiracy (Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 2 of Article 437 of the criminal code).

If convicted Ruzynskyi, who commands the 11th Army Corps of Russia’s Baltic Fleet of the Western Military District, faces up to 15 years in prison.

According to the investigation, the accused ordered more than 4,000 soldiers of the Balakliya group to cross the state borderand capture the Kharkiv region. Under his command, districts of Kharkiv, Chuguyiv and Izyum were temporarily occupied.  

Russian to be Tried for Shooting Unarmed Civilian 

The prosecutor general's Office sent an indictment to the court against the commander of the 31st separate airborne assault brigade of Russia’s Airborne Forces for violating the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder (Parts 1, 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code).

According to the investigation, in March 2022, the accused and his subordinates raided civilian houses and interrogated residents of Irpin in Kyiv region. 

On March 25, while searching apartments, a man was found without documents. The accused took him to a playground behind the building and shot him in the head with an automatic weapon.

The prosecutor general's office did not name the defendant, but according to Russian media, in July 2021, 39-year-old Colonel Sergey Karasev, a native of Pskov, a Russian city close to the Estonian border, was appointed commander of this brigade. In November 2022, Karasev was informed in absentia of the suspicion of murdering a civilian.

Ukrainian Marine Notified of Treason 

Investigators of the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) reported in absentia the suspicion of treason under martial law (Part 2 of Article 111 of the criminal code) to one of the leaders of Ukraine’s 501st separate battalion of marines. The SBI did not name the suspect, but the notification on the website of the prosecutor general's office indicated that the accused is Kostyantyn Bezsmertny.

The investigation established that the head of the rear material service of the 501st battalion conspired with Russian forces in Mariupol and prompted his commander to stop defensive actions and surrender. 

As a result 277 servicemen were ordered to redeploy, but were in fact transferred to the territory of so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR). 

Ukraine’s Former Education Minister Suspected of Aiding Russia

Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU) informed in absentia Dmytro Tabachnyk, education minister under former president Viktor Yanukovych, about the suspicion of aiding the aggressor state and violating the laws and customs of war (Part 2 of Article 28, Part 1 of Article 111-2, Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code).

Investigators found that Tabachnyk, who fled to Russia in 2015 and has since obtained Russian citizenship, had been coordinating activities in southern Ukraine with Russia’s security services. 

Tabachnyk played an active role in organising pseudo-referendums in the districts of Kherson and  Zaporizhzhya regions in September 2022, and converting schools and hospitals into army barracks for Russian servicemen. He served as advisor to the head of the occupation administration in Zaporizhzhya region.

In November 2022, the SBU informed in absentia Tabachnik about the suspicion of treason committed under martial law (Part 2 of Article 111 of the criminal code).

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