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Abduction and torture: Ukraine identifies Russian soldiers involved in war crimes during 2022 invasion of Kyiv Oblast

Local residents of Bohdanivka clear up damage from Russian occupation.
Local residents of Bohdanivka village in Kyiv Oblast clear the damage left after the Russian occupation. Source: Olena Mukhina
Abduction and torture: Ukraine identifies Russian soldiers involved in war crimes during 2022 invasion of Kyiv Oblast

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) has identified four Russian soldiers who have been suspected of involvement in the abduction and torture of civilians in Kyiv Oblast during the occupation of the region in 2022.

Since the beginning of the full-blown invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office has documented over 124,000 war and aggression crimes committed by the occupiers, including violations of laws and customs of war, planning, preparation, and initiation of the war, as well as, spearing Kremlin’s propaganda.

In addition, the Russian military and its collaborators committed over 16,000 crimes against the national security of Ukraine, violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine and taking part in sabotage attacks. Also, Russian occupiers have killed at least 522 Ukrainian children and injured 1,216, Ukrainian prosecutors said.

The investigations into crimes by Russian soldiers continue as the fates of many Ukrainians who lived in the occupied territories remain uncertain. During the invasion of Kyiv Oblast, the invaders deported 147 civilians to Russia and Belarus. Their whereabouts are unknown, said Head of Regional Military Administration Oleksii Kuleba.

Alexander Vasiliev, the assistant of the commander of the 15th Separate Motorized Brigade; Alexey Bulgakov, the commander of a motorized infantry platoon within the same military unit; Georgiy Radnatarov, the commander of a reconnaissance platoon in the 37th Separate Motorized Brigade; and Dugar Shozhoev, the soldier in the 5th Separate Tank Brigade of the Russian armed forces are among the suspected which have been identified by Ukraine’s SBU.

According to the investigation, the individuals participated in the occupation of settlements in the Brovary and Bucha districts of the Kyiv Oblast, subjecting local residents to mass repression. The victims were reportedly kidnapped and held in torture chambers by the four Russian soldiers.

In Bohdanivka village, Bulgakov and Vasiliev ordered their comrades to forcibly take out a local resident from his home for interrogation. The man was then transported to a makeshift prison set up in a captured school.

Inside the rooms of the torture chamber, the victim of the Russian war criminals was brutally beaten and threatened with execution as the occupiers tried to force him to give confessions on the alleged involvement with the local resistance movement. Failing to receive the “required answers,” Bulgakov and Vasiliev ordered other Russian soldiers to continue torturing the man and beat him with a stick ten times.

Another suspect, Radnatarov, detained a resident of the town of Bucha in March 2022, bound his hands, and put a sack on his head.

Simulating an execution, Radnatarov pointed a gun at the victim and reloaded the firearm several times. Later, he threatened to kill his victim with a hatchet and a knife if he didn’t collaborate with occupation troops. After subjecting the individual to torture, Radnatarov callously abandoned the wounded civilian in the middle of the street.

Earlier, the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine verified that at least 592 civilians were killed or injured in Ukraine in December 2023, which constitutes a 26.5% increase compared to the previous month, mostly due to intensified Russian air attacks.

UN: 26.5% surge in Ukraine civilian casualties in December due to intensified Russian air attacks

The report came after Russia’s largest-yet aerial attack on Ukraine on 29 December 2023, in which Russia launched 160 missiles and drones in an attempt to overwhelm Ukraine’s air defenses amid ongoing concerns over its shortage of anti-air ammunition.

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