Experienced butchers and killers: The Guardian spoke about the occupiers who bombed Ukraine
Ukrainian prosecutors record all war crimes of the enemy and seek to bring to justice every occupier, including those who shelled Ukraine. Among them are many Russian commanders and generals who are blamed by Ukraine.
The Guardian analyzed the scheme used by Ukrainian prosecutors to trace evidence of Russian war crimes.
Journalists published a photo of a board measuring 4 by 1.5 meters, which contains a detailed diagram of the entire Russian military command in Ukraine. There are hundreds of names and photographs on it. All these are a number of individuals against whom Ukraine is investigating for possible involvement in war crimes. The map depicts Russian soldiers, divided into regiments, up to the Supreme Commander of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
We started mapping Russian commanders and generals last year. And we continue to update it week after week, – said the chief prosecutor of the Kharkiv region Alexander Filchakov.
Mikhail Mizintsev and the destruction of Mariupol
Perhaps Russia's most brutal act was in Mariupol after the start of a full-scale invasion, where, according to Ukrainian authorities, 22,000 people were killed. The destruction of the city has drawn comparisons to the blockade of Aleppo in Syria, which was also reduced to rubble by the Russian bombardment.
Both Russian campaigns were led by Colonel General Mikhail Mizintsev, a Russian military official who was sanctioned by the British government in March 2022 because of his role in the bombing of both cities.
In Mariupol, military experts say he drew on lessons learned in Syria, where he oversaw the brutal bombing that destroyed much of Aleppo. Like Aleppo, Mizintsev first cut off Ukrainian forces from their supply lines. As a result, the colonel-general received the nickname “Mariupol slaughterer”.
Alexander Zhuravlev and the bombing of Kharkov
The north-eastern region of Kharkov became one of the most affected as a result of the actions of the Russian invaders. There, the enemy dropped several prohibited weapons, in particular cluster munitions. Alexander Zhuravlev, a Russian colonel general who assisted Mizintsev during the bombing of Aleppo in 2016, is responsible for the bombings.
Zhuravlev, 57, traveled to Syria three times and was awarded one of Russia's highest military awards, the Hero of the Russian Federation. According to numerous reports, Zhuravlev was the only high-ranking Russian officer who could sign the order to shell Kharkiv with Tornadoes.
Reference. Russian troops hit the residential area of Kharkov from the MLRS “Smerch”, cluster shells. As a result of the enemy attack, four people were injured.
After the counter-offensive of the Ukrainian army, which repelled almost the entire Kharkiv region and pushed the Russians back to the border, Zhuravlev was fired and replaced by Lieutenant General Roman Berdnikov.
Oleg Timoshin and the shelling of a shopping center in Kremenchug
No less terrible was the shelling of the Amstor shopping center in Kremenchug with a Russian X-22 rocket, where dozens of people were killed. According to Ukrainian prosecutors, the strike was carried out by the 52nd Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment, which is now led by 51-year-old Colonel Oleg Timoshin.
Ukraine's special services also accuse Timoshin of involvement in a rocket attack on a residential building in the Dnieper, which also killed dozens of people.
Timoshin's immediate superior at the command level is Sergey Dronov, commander-in-chief of the Russian Air Force, responsible for all military operations in Ukraine. Born in a village in eastern Ukraine, Dronov also participated in the bombing of Syria.
Azatbek Omurbekov and the atrocities in Bucha
When the Russians withdrew from the Kyiv region in early April last year, about 458 bodies were seized in the city of Bucha, buried in dozens of mass graves. Hundreds more bodies of civilians were found under the rubble of buildings in Borodianka and Gostomel. Azatbek Omurbekov led the troops, which are probably responsible for the murders, rapes and torture of civilians, a number of atrocities, which is why he was nicknamed the “Buchan slaughterer”.
Where he is now is unknown. Some sources report that after the retreat from the Kyiv region, Omurbekov overturned his soldiers in Belarus. However, according to other sources, he subsequently reached Belgorod, from where he joined other regiments in operations in the Kharkov region.
Russian war crimes in Ukraine: essentials
- The Office of the Prosecutor General stated that today they have registered more than 68 thousand war crimes of the Russian military and 952 facts of the use of prohibited means of warfare. The invaders robbed, tortured, killed civilians, raped them. The invaders also shot Ukrainian prisoners of war.
- Currently, the EU countries are taking the first steps to create a special tribunal to hold the Russian leadership accountable for war crimes against Ukraine. 32 states have already joined the coalition to create a special tribunal for Russia.