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Russia opens criminal case against six Ukrainian army commanders for shelling civilians

October 24, 2016, 17:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Russian Investigative Committee has identified the commanders of units of the Ukrainian armed forces, which subjected civilians in southeast Ukraine to artillery fire

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Village of Zaitsevo in Ukraine’s Donetsk region

Village of Zaitsevo in Ukraine’s Donetsk region

© Mikhail Sokolov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened criminal cases against six commanders of the Ukrainian armed forces complicit in the shelling of civilians in southeast Ukraine, Investigative Committee acting spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko told TASS on Monday.

"The Russian Investigative Committee’s Main Investigation Department for Investigating Crimes Related to the Use of Prohibited Methods and Means of Warfare has identified the commanders of units of the Ukrainian armed forces, which subjected civilian infrastructure facilities and civilians in southeast Ukraine to artillery fire," the acting spokeswoman said.

In view of this, criminal cases have been opened against commander of the 57th separate motorized brigade of the Ukrainian forces Colonel Sergei Sirchenko, commander of the 17th separate motorized battalion of the 57th separate motorized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander Shcherbinin, commander of the 10th separate mountain assault brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces Lieutenant-Colonel Vasily Zubanich, commander of the 55th separate artillery brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces Colonel Sergei Brusov, commander of the 30th separate mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces Lieutenant-Colonel Ivan Garaz, commander of the artillery battalion of the 30th separate mechanized brigade Major Sergei Martsenyuk, and also against unidentified persons of these units, the acting spokeswoman said.

"The investigation sees the signs of the crime stipulated by part 1, article 356 of Russia’s Criminal Code ("The Use of Prohibited Methods and Means of Warfare") in their actions," the acting spokeswoman said.

Subject matter of criminal cases

According to the investigation, on April 17, 2016, Sirchenko, Shcherbinin and other servicemen of the 57th separate motorized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces conducted aimed artillery fire from heavy armaments against civilian infrastructure facilities other than military objectives in the village of Zaitsevo in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, which partially damaged three houses, a humanitarian aid distribution center and caused bodily harm to a woman uninvolved in the armed conflict.

On June 15, Zubanich and servicemen of the 10th separate mountain assault bridge of the Ukrainian armed forces delivered artillery fire from heavy weapons with high destruction capabilities against the territory of the populated areas of Krasnogorovka and Staromikhailovka of Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, as a result of which two civilians uninvolved in the armed conflict were injured.

On July 7, Brusov and other persons from among servicemen of the 55th separate artillery brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces delivered aimed fire from heavy weapons against civilian infrastructure facilities in the village of Zaitsevo in Ukraine’s Donetsk Region, as a result of which no less than 30 houses were damaged and two civilians received injuries of various gravity.

On July 19, Garaz, Masrtsenyuk and other servicemen of the 30th separate mechanized brigade of the Ukrainian armed forces used heavy weapons to shell the territory of the Kuibyshevsky and Kievsky districts of the Ukrainian city of Donetsk and also the village of Yasinovataya of Ukraine’s Donetsk Region. As a result, eight houses were partially damaged and four civilians received wounds of various gravity.

"The investigation believes that in all the cases the Ukrainian servicemen acted in violation of the provisions of international legal acts guaranteeing the observance and protection of the rights of civilians during armed conflicts of non-international nature," the Investigative Committee acting spokeswoman said.

Investigative and search measures are ongoing to identify all the circumstances of the crimes that have been committed, the spokeswoman added.

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