Tuesday, 4 June ‘24

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

Tuesday, 4 June ‘24

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

Tuesday, 4 June, 2024


Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Police Open Investigation in Shooting of Civilians in Vovchansk 

Ukrainian law enforcement officers are investigating the shooting of civilians in Vovchansk, a town in the Kharkiv region in which Russian forces made significant territorial gains in May 2024.  

According to the investigation, on May 15, several pensioners decided to leave town and flee towards Kharkiv. A 70-year-old man took his wife in a wheelchair because she had problems with her legs and was joined by another local resident. Russian forces fired at them near the local hospital, killing the woman and their companion.  

The 70-year-old man survived and managed to reach the outskirts of Vovchansk, from where he was taken to Kharkiv. He was unable to remove his wife's body; the office of the prosecutor general published a photo, taken from a drone, showing the dead woman in the wheelchair. 

Russian Soldier Convicted of Rape in Kherson Region 

On May 20, the Odesa Primorsky district court found Russian soldier Aleksandr Rubanov guilty of raping a woman in the Beryslav District of the Kherson Region in the spring of 2022. The 49-year-old was sentenced in absentia to 11 years in prison for violating the laws and customs of war under Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code.  

According to the Kherson prosecutor's office, Rubanov moved into the victim's house in mid-April 2022, threatening her and her young son with violence, and repeatedly raped her. The Russian soldier remained in the house until the end of August 2022.  

The judgment is not published in the court register as it contains information that cannot be disclosed and was considered in a closed session.  

Russia’s Deputy Defence Minister Issued Suspicion  

Investigators of Ukraine’s security services (SBU) reported a suspicion in absentia to Russia’s deputy minister of defence Aleksei Kryvoruchko for complicity in waging an aggressive war as per Part 2 of Article 27, Part 2 of Article 28 and Part 2 of Article 437 of the criminal code. 

The investigation states the 48-year-old official coordinates the supply of guided aerial bombs and Iskander ballistic missiles to the Russian armed forces, which are used for mass attacks on Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure. The deputy minister also controls the orders and the supply of weapons and military equipment for offensive operations.  

Ukrainian National Accused of Forcible Transfer 

Kherson police investigators issued a suspicion in absentia against Ukrainian citizen Borys Shutikov on charges of aiding the aggressor state and violating the laws and customs of war under Part 1 of Article 111-2 and Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code. 

According to the pre-trial investigation, in July 2022 during the occupation of Kherson, the 70-year-old agreed to lead the so-called Kherson psychoneurological boarding school, created by the Russian authorities to house people with mental health problems. He reportedly urged subordinates to collaborate with the occupation authorities, promising high salaries in Russian roubles. On October 21, 2022, the suspect allegedly organised the illegal removal of 54 women in the facility to the Kurmansk psychoneurological boarding school, located in occupied Crimea. They were taken away in two buses accompanied by armed Russian soldiers.  

According to the investigation, Shutikov left the right bank of the Kherson region before the liberation of Kherson in November 2022, and moved to the occupied territory of Ukraine, but his exact whereabouts are not specified. The pre-trial investigation did not establish where the displaced women currently are. 

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