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Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Ivanovich Bastrykin held a briefing session in Rostov-on-Don. It was attended by First Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Eduard Valeryevich Kaburneev, Acting Deputy Chairman of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation – Head of the Main Military Investigative Department Konstantin Evgenyevich Korpusov, Head of the First Investigative Department (deployed in Rostov-on-Don) of the Main Investigative Department of the IC of Russia Vadim Valeryevich Kosenkov, Head of the Military Investigative Department of the IC of Russia in the Southern Military District Vladislav Pavlovich Lukovsky, as well as heads of divisions of the Central Office and territorial investigative authorities of the IC of Russia.
The meeting discussed investigation of crimes committed by Ukrainian servicemen and nationalists against the civilian population. The Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia was informed that in cooperation with the prosecutor's offices of the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, receiving daily operational reports on incidents had been established. Based on these data on victims and destruction of civil infrastructure facilities, criminal cases are initiated. The materials of criminal cases that have been processed by the law enforcement authorities of the republics since 2014 are analyzed in order to create a single evidence base. In cooperation with the Ministry of Defense and the FSB of Russia, the investigators work to identify the structure, composition, military hardware, deployment, and commanders of units of Ukrainian ground, air, and air defense forces, as well as navy, marine corps, and nationalist formations.
To date, 15 more commanders of the Armed Forces of Ukraine involved in the genocide of civilians of Donbass have been identified and recognized as defendants.
In total, 42 commanders of Ukrainian defense agencies are held liable for committing genocide.
The investigators continue to collect evidence of commission of war crimes against civilians by the commander of the 19th separate missile brigade of the AFU F. S. Yaroshevich. The analysis of identification numbers found at rocket attack sites showed that in some cases settlements of the DPR and LPR were shelled with missiles bearing one series of identification numbers (Sh89455, Sh89464, Sh89466). The missiles were manufactured in 1989 and were in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to the information obtained, Tochka-U missile systems were in service exclusively with the 19th separate missile brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under Yaroshevich's command. It included 3 divisions of 8 rocket launchers each (a total of 24 launchers). According to the available information, as well as witness testimonies, Yaroshevich is in command of the brigade.
The meeting participants separately discussed the progress of the investigation of criminal cases on crimes against the civilian population of Mariupol. After questioning the refugees, the investigators found out that since February 2022, members of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalist battalions had forbidden Mariupol residents to leave the city under threat of violence; they mined roads and fired small arms at automobile convoys trying to leave the city. There is also extensive evidence that Ukrainian armed formations placed Grad MLRS and military vehicles in residential areas, used kindergartens, schools, and hospitals as hideouts and firing points, as well as systematically shelled civilian infrastructure facilities.
The investigators continue to work with surrendered servicemen. There are over one thousand such people in Russia. The vast majority have been interrogated by the investigators. Among them, there are 5 commanders of AFU brigades that took part in hostilities against the population of Donbass.
It is known that foreign military instructors took an active part in preparing the Ukrainian army and nationalist units for combat operations. In this regard, the department head instructed to continue to summarize and systematize the testimonies of detained Ukrainian servicemen who provide information on the work of military advisers from the United States, Great Britain, and other states. In addition, during the investigation, information was obtained on weapon supplies from 25 states, including 21 NATO members. The investigators have initiated and are investigating a criminal case on participation of citizens of Great Britain, the USA, Norway, and Canada in the conflict as mercenaries. Aiden Eslin, a British citizen, is one of them.
Apart from that, A. I. Bastrykin ordered to continue analyzing new information from the Russian Defense Ministry related to development of biological weapon components in Ukrainian laboratories. The documents obtained within the case confirm the close cooperation of Ukraine and Western countries in conducting biological studies of particularly dangerous infections, exporting biomaterials abroad, as well as the fact that the US Department of defense provided funding and controlled experiments in Ukrainian and Georgian biological laboratories. The work was focused on researching deadly pathogens and ways of spreading them, despite the risks of a biological catastrophe in Europe..
The heads of the investigative departments of the IC of Russia for the Rostov, Belgorod, Kursk, Bryansk, and Voronezh Oblasts, the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol also made reports at the briefing session.
Speaking about the work with refugees recognized as victims, A. I. Bastryking instructed to consider the issue of filing civil lawsuits during investigation of crimes committed by Ukrainian armed formations in order to compensate for the damage sustained by the victims.
After hearing out the heads of regional investigative authorities, the Chairman of the Investigative Committee instructed them to analyze and identify the most characteristic pain points the people arriving in Russia from Donbass, face. Among them: obtaining citizenship, receipt of social benefits, medical care, etc. A. I. Bastrykin noted that based on this work results, it was necessary to promptly prepare proposals for the Government of the Russian Federation on simplifying the procedures for issuing relevant documents.
After the briefing, the Investigative Committee delegation visited the volunteer headquarters, where the humanitarian cargo was sent to the Donetsk People's of Republic.
Members of the public all-Russian movement People's Front handed over to A. I. Bastrykin video testimonies of refugees from Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics related to crimes and acts of intimidation of civilians by the Armed Forces of Ukraine and nationalists. The head of the department thanked the activists for their assistance in investigating crimes committed in Donbass.
As part of the trip, the Chairman of the IC of Russia also held a meeting with volunteers at the Don State Technical University. A. I. Bastrykin noted that the people's selfless impulse to do good, to help people in difficult life situations and victims of natural disasters led to creation of numerous volunteer organizations that had done a lot of useful things not only for their home cities and settlements, but also for the regions across Russia. The current assistance to Donbass residents and support of military personnel participating in the special military operation are a good example. The department head emphasized that the noble ideas of providing help were common in the Investigative Committee. Employees, students, and cadets of the IC of Russia provide assistance to veterans, family members of employees who died in the line of duty, as well as to orphans and children affected by the fighting in Ukraine and Syria. The Chairman of the Investigative Committee thanked the attendees for their kind hearts, presented letters of gratitude and certificates of honor. Rector of the Don State Technical University B. Ch. Meskhi was awarded the departmental medal For Assistance.
During the work trip, representatives of the Russian IC delegation also met with orphans from the DPR and LPR. The Chairman of the Investigative Committee asked the meeting participants about their difficulties with social and household arrangements, medical and drug provision, applying for financial aid, sending children to kindergartens and schools, and also answered their questions.
Concluding the trip, A. I. Bastrykin came to a military clinical hospital, where he visited Russian servicemen injured during the special operation to protect Donbass residents. The Chairman of the Investigative Committee wished them a speedy recovery and awarded departmental medals “Valor and Courage” and “For High Civic Consciousness.” In order to maintain the servicemen's morale, Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, member of the Public Council at the IC of Russia A. V. Marshal performed songs. He was also awarded the medal “For High Civic Consciousness.” In gratitude for the dedication in treating the injured, the head of the hospital V. G. Kokoev was presented with a memorable gift.