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Prosecutors accuse Russian soldiers of involvement in Lithuanian director killing

russian troops ukraine
Russian troops in Ukraine. Image by Ukrainska Pravda
Prosecutors accuse Russian soldiers of involvement in Lithuanian director killing

Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office has accused three Russian soldiers of involvement in the murder of Lithuanian director Mantas Kvedaravičius near occupied Mariupol, as per Deutsche Welle.

Russia destroyed and overran Mariupol, a port city on the Azov Sea coast in Donetsk Oblast in 2022, home to nearly 500,000 people, early in its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Most Mariupolites did not have a chance to evacuate, and the exact number of civilian casualties, estimated in the tens of thousands, remains unknown to this day.

After a two-year investigation, Lithuanian law enforcement identified three members of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic, the Russian-run quasi-state in eastern Ukraine, who killed the director in the occupied city.

“The identification of other accomplices is underway, along with additional procedural actions to bring the guilty to justice, at least in absentia,” said Lithuanian Prosecutor General Nida Grunskienė.

The Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Andrii Kostin, said that Kvedaravičius was detained at a checkpoint during an attempt to evacuate civilians from Mariupol.

“He was a civilian who had not participated in any combat activities. Inhumane torture, including beatings, knife wounds, fractures, and simulated execution, led to the death of this man,” explained Kostin.

Mantas Kvedaravičius, the director of the documentary film Mariupolis, depicting the events of 2014-2015 in Mariupol, returned to the city in 2022. He was capturing the onset of the Russian full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to Grunskienė, Lithuanian law enforcement is currently conducting seven investigations into war crimes in Ukraine. Additionally, a separate investigation into the forceful deportation of Ukrainian children by Russian troops is underway.

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