DONETSK, May 22. /TASS/. A Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) court has delivered the first verdict to one of the accomplices in the murder of Somalia Battalion commander Mikhail Tolstykh. Per reports by the DPR’s Ministry of State Security’s press service, a DPR national Dmitry Batrak was sentences to twelve years in prison.
"As the investigation revealed, Batrak was photographing and video recording administrative buildings in Donetsk, collecting information on the dislocation and movements of military equipment to transfer the intelligence data over to the Ukrainian Security Service," the Donetsk News Agency reports, quoting the Ministry’s statement.
Batrak also "carried out the task of purchasing and transferring the republican mobile operator Phoenix SIM-cards, which were later used to execute the assassination of Mikhail Tolstykh," the Ministry underlined. It also said that in May 2019 the court found Batrak guilty on the count of espionage and sentenced him to twelve years of prison.
Somalia Battalion commander Mikhail Tolstykh (call-sign Givi) died on February 8, 2017 in the shelling from the Shmel man-portable rocket launcher. The DPR operational staff said that his death "was favorable for the Ukrainian special services."
Mikhail Tolstykh was born in Ilovaisk in 1980, served in the Ukrainian military forces. He joined the DPR militia in April 2014. Tolstykh was targeted by assassinations a number of times, was wounded in the fighting a few times.