May 24, 2022

8 Russian soldiers identified who tortured Ukrainian civilians and killed Motyzhyn village heads family

Alyona Mazurenko – Tuesday, 24 May 2022, 16:47

Ukrainian law enforcement officers have identified the Russian soldiers who killed the family of Motyzhyn village head and who tortured other civilians in Ukraine. Three people survived the Russian occupiers’ torture.

Source: Prosecutor General’s Office; Security Service of Ukraine; Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova’s Facebook post

Details: The identities of 5 Russian Armed Forces soldiers and 3 Wagner Group mercenaries have been confirmed [Wagner Group is a Russian private military company]. The 8 soldiers are responsible for at least 14 war crimes. Only 3 people survived their torture.

Quote from Venediktova: “Kyiv Oblast and Kyiv-Sviatoshyn district prosecutors and the Security Service of Ukraine have identified those responsible for the atrocities committed in Motyzhyn:

  • Senior lieutenant Oleg Krikunov – platoon commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;

  • Sergeant Chingis Gonchikov – branch commander, combat vehicle commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;

  • Sergeant Alexandr Vanchikov – division commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;

  • Sergeant Magomedmirza Suleymanov – combat vehicle commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;

  • Senior lieutenant Vitaliy Dmitriev – platoon commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;

  • Sergey Sazanov – Wagner mercenary;

  • Sergey Sazonov – command vehicle driver from the Wagner Group;

  • Aleksandr Stupnitskiy – reconnaissance and communications officer from the 1st Reconnaissance and Assault Platoon of the 1st Reconnaissance and Assault Company of the Wagner Group.

Details: The investigation established that the Russian occupiers abducted Olha Sukhenko, the head of the village of Motyzhyn, her husband and their son in March 2022.

According to the Prosecutor General, Olha and her family were tortured at a Russian base; Russian soldiers were trying to find out information about the Armed Forces of Ukraine and territorial defence forces.

Quote from Venediktova: “First, they shot at the son’s leg right before his mother’s eyes, then they killed him by shooting him in the head. The entire family died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Consider the reason for another murder: one of their victims was shot in the head just because she was wearing black. Her father was taken prisoner and held in an outbuilding blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back, practically without water or food.”

Details: The Russian occupiers also captured two volunteers who were trying to bring humanitarian aid for Motyzhyn residents; after being interrogated and tortured, the two volunteers were taken to the nearby forest and shot. One of them survived.

The Russian soldiers and mercenaries took the humanitarian aid and the volunteers’ cars.

The suspects also tortured to death two members of the Patriot civil society organisation; their bodies had multiple penetrating gunshot wounds.

The Russian soldiers tied another one of their victims to a quad bike and forced him to run after the vehicle for almost a kilometre.

This man was also interrogated, beaten up, and threatened with death; he was forced to spend several days in a sewer pit.

Venediktova said that in addition to torturing, imprisoning, and murdering civilians, the suspects have also shelled and set fire to civilian houses and confiscated their mobile phones.

The Russian soldiers were informed in absentia about their suspected violation of the laws and customs of war, combined with premeditated murder (Part 1 and Part 2, Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

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