Tuesday, 7 November ‘23

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

Tuesday, 7 November ‘23

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

Tuesday, 7 November, 2023
IWPR

IWPR

Institute for War & Peace Reporting

Investigation Into Killing of Family of Nine in Occupied Donetsk Region

The Donetsk regional prosecutor's office has initiated a pre-trial investigation into the alleged murder of nine members of a family in Vuhledar, an occupied town in the Donetsk region. The victims included two children aged nine and five.  

Media reported that in October 2023, armed individuals wearing military uniforms entered the house where the family lived, ordering them to vacate it to accommodate a unit of the Russian army. The homeowner refused.

On October 27, individuals of Russia’s armed formations returned to the house and opened fire, killing all nine family members. Law enforcement agencies are investigating the murder for violations of the laws and customs of war under Article 438, Part 2 of the criminal code. 

Russian Singer Summoned for Propaganda Against Ukraine

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has summoned in absentia Russian singer Yulia Chicherina for her war propaganda against Ukraine. She is is accused of crimes against Ukraine's territorial integrity and inviolability (Part 1 of Article 110 of criminal code), illegal border crossing (Part 1, Part 2 of Article 332-2), war propaganda (Article 436) and glorifying the participants in Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine (Part 3 of Article 436-2).

The investigation alleges that in late 2022, the 45-year-old pop singer posted a video on her YouTube channel calling on Ukrainian military personnel to surrender and threatening them with imprisonment in Russian labour camps in Siberia. Following the July 29, 2022 attack in Olenivka which resulted in up to 62 Ukrainian prisoners of war, she held a concert in the settlement south of Donetsk city and urged local residents to join the Russian army. She also justified the occupation of parts of Ukraine.

In March 2022, Chicherina travelled to the occupied town of Energodar, in Zaporizhzhia region, and removed the Ukrainian flag from the local city hall in encroachment of Ukraine's territorial integrity and inviolability (Part 3 of Article 110 of the criminal code) and disrespect for state symbols (Part 1 of Article 338).

Russian Serviceman Sentenced in Absentia for Robbing and Beating Civilian

On October 23, the Brovary District Court of Kyiv Oblast sentenced in absentia Russian military officer Anton Antonov to 12 years of imprisonment for looting and cruel treatment of civilians in violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 1 of Article 438 of the criminal code). 

In 2022 Antonov, from Engels in Russia’s Saratov region, was head of the food service of a military unit during the occupation of Bohdanivka, a village in Kyiv region.

In early March 2022, Antonov and his subordinates robbed a private house of cash and various items for a total of about one million hryvnias ( 25,000 US dollars). Items included an iPhone 12, gold rings, three pairs of gold children's earrings and a gold chain with a crucifix. The accused and his accomplices used a tank to break down the fence and force their way into the residence. 

They also looted a shop in the house's backyard, stealing food and household goods. During the actions, the homeowner was beaten, threatened with execution, taken to Russian army headquarters and released the same day. The stolen items were reportedly divided among various soldiers. The victim identified Antonov from photographs and added that his subordinates referred to him as their “commander”.

Antonov has a 30-day period to appeal to the verdict.

Three Russian Commanders Suspected of Kherson Shelling 

Ukraine’s security service (SBU) have filed charges in absentia against three high-ranking Russian military officers for their alleged involvement in the shelling of the southern port city of Kherson on May 3.  The attack killed 24 civilians and injured 51. 

The suspects are General Colonel Oleg Makarevich, commander of the "Dnepr" task force; Lieutenant General Arkadiy Marzoyev, commander of the 22nd Army Corps of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and Lieutenant Colonel Dmytro Zharkikh, commander of the 8th Artillery Regiment of the Black Sea Fleet’s Coastal Troops.

According to the investigation, the three are responsible for the orchestrated rocket and artillery bombardment that targeted residential high-rises, private homes, a shopping centre, a gas station and a railway station. 

General Colonel Makarevich reportedly ordered the shelling while General Marzoyev was in charge of preparing the mass attack and Lieutenant Colonel Zharkikh directly commanded the shelling. They are charged with conducting aggressive warfare and issuing orders to violate the laws and customs of war under Part 2 of Article 28, Part 2 of Article 437, Part 2 of Article 438 of the criminal code).

This is the second suspicion for Lieutenant Colonel Zharkikh. He is already facing charges for reportedly ordering a previous attack on Kherson, on December 24, 2022, which killed 13 people and left over 60 wounded. The shelling came from the left bank of the Dnieper river of Kherson region, which remains under Russian occupation. 

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