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Russian Investigative Committee opens criminal case against Ukrainian military leaders

The criminal case was opened against Defense Minister Valery Heletey, Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff Viktor Muzhenko, Commander of Brigade 25 Oleh Mikas
Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey EPA/STR
Ukrainian Defense Minister Valeriy Heletey

MOSCOW, October 2. /TASS/. The Russian Investigative Committee (IC) has opened a criminal case against the Ukrainian defense minister, chief of staff and other Ukrainian senior military officials, IC spokesman Vladimir Markin told TASS.

The Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against Defense Minister Valery Heletey, Chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ General Staff Viktor Muzhenko, Commander of Brigade 25 Oleh Mikas, other commanders not identified yet from Brigade 93 and other senior military officials on charges of organizing murders, use of prohibited warfare means and methods and genocide, Markin said.

Heletey, Muzhenko, Mikas and commanders of Brigade 93, who were in command of forces in military operations near the airport in Donetsk from July 3 to September 5, intentionally, in violation of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948) and other international laws against genocide, gave orders aimed at complete elimination of the national group of Russian-speaking people living in the self-proclaimed Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics, Markin said.

Obeying the orders, Ukrainian forces, when shelling the cities of Donetsk, Luhansk, Sloviansk and Kramatorsk and other populated localities, used Grad and Uragan multiple rocket launchers, uncontrolled aircraft-launched missiles with cluster warheads, tactical Tochka-U missiles and other kinds of heavy offensive weaponry with indiscriminate effect, he said.

“As a result, more than 3,000 civilians were killed, more than 5,000 local residents were injured and more than 500 houses and life-support facilities, hospitals and schools were completely or partly destroyed or burned up,” Markin said.

More than 300,000 people fearing for their lives and health had to leave their homes and flee from the regions to Russia, Markin said.

Alexander Drymanov said Thursday the suspects would be charged and put on an international wanted list.

Russian investigators in possession of material evidence of crimes in Ukraine’s southeast

Russia’s Investigative Committee has material evidence needed for probing into genocide of Russian speaking population in Ukraine’s southeast, rather than only numerous testimonies of the victims, the acting head of the committee’s department for investigating crimes related to banned tactics and means of warfare said on Thursday.

“To justify the eyewitnesses’ testimonies, we are in possession of video footages and photos which objectively testify to the facts of crimes committed against peace and security of humanity in Ukraine,” Aleksandr Drymanov said adding that the investigators “will use this evidence.”

Along with this, Drymanov said that the investigation embraced over 62,000 Ukrainians who arrived in Russia fleeing Ukraine’s war-torn southeast, and 13,500 out of them were regarded as victims.

Thus, the collected evidence would be attached to complaints that are to be submitted to the European Court of Human Rights /ECHR/ and the International Criminal Court /ICC/, he said.

Drymanov said that the White Book about crimes in Ukraine was being readied and would be published in several languages.

“The work is underway and Russia’s Investigative Committee will give a legal assessment to any events of criminal character that are taking place in Ukraine,” the official said.