Tuesday, 31 January ‘23

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

Tuesday, 31 January ‘23

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

Tuesday, 31 January, 2023

Investigation Opened on Mass Use of Human Shields

The Chernihiv regional prosecutor's office notified in absentia two Russian servicemen of suspicion of violating the laws and customs of war. According to the investigation, during the occupation of the village of Yagidne in the Chernihiv district, the suspects threatened to shoot people in their homes and forcibly took them to the basement of a local school.

From March 3 to 31, 2022, 368 civilians, including 69 children, were kept in the basement of the Yagidne branch of the Kolychiv secondary school, effectively used as human shields as the school served as Russian headquarters. Ten elderly people died as a result; the basement lacked proper sanitary condition and access to air, food, and water.

The ongoing pre-trial investigation is being carried out by the investigative department of the security service in the Chernihiv region.

Suspicion Against Captured Russian Soldier and His Commander

The national police are investigating a captured 32-year-old Russian soldier and his commander for violating the laws and customs of war during the occupation of the village of Irpin, on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. 

In March 2022, Andrii Medvediev, a corporal serving as a scout rifleman, and his unit commander  entered Irpin and over the course of several days abused residents including staging mock executions. Ukrainian forces retook the suburb on March 29. 

Captured in September 2022 in the Kherson region, Medvediev is currently held in a pre-trial detention centre. The investigation found that he had previously participated in military operations in Syria, Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk and other regions of Ukraine. The location of its commander is being established. 

Evidence Collected for Attack Against Evacuation Bus in Kharkhiv Region

The Kharkiv regional prosecutor's office initiated a pre-trial investigation into Russian forces’ shooting of civilians as they fled the occupied village of Borova. The investigation is into the potential  violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with intentional murder, Part 2 of Article 438 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code of Ukraine.

On April 14, Russian forces took control of the village, which lies about 37 kilometres east of Iziym, and shot at two buses with civilians. Serhii Bolvinov, head of the investigative department, stated that the shooting took place with the use of large-calibre machine guns mounted on armoured personnel carriers. The buses were then fired on by  Kalashnikov assault rifles.

Nine people on the bus were reportedly killed, while 13 were wounded and taken to a local hospital. On January 24, prosecutors together with national police investigators conducted an exhumation and remains were sent for forensic examinations.

Russian Commander Identified for Shelling Civilian Infrastructure 

Investigators from Ukraine’s prosecutor general’s office summoned Russian colonel and commander Oleh Tymoshyn for violating the laws and customs of war on suspicion of ordering the shelling of civilian infrastructure. 

According to the investigation, the commander of the 52nd heavy long-range bomber aviation regiment of the Air Force of the Aerospace Forces of Russia’s Armed Forces ordered  strikes with X-22 and X-32 missiles, which in total claimed the lives of 88 civilians and injured 240.

The 51-year-old man is suspected to have ordered attacks using Tu-22M3 missile bombers on the Riviera shopping centre in Odesa, the city culture centre  in Lozova (Kharkiv region), a shopping centre in Kremenchuk (Poltava region) a residential building and a recreation centre  in the village of Serhiivka (Odesa region). He is also suspected to be behind the January 14 shelling of a residential building in Dnipro which killed 46 people.

This publication was prepared under the “Ukraine Voices Project" implemented with the financial support of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

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