Criminal proceedings launched against Ukrainian citizen Alexander Muzychko on suspicion of banditry against Russian military

The North-Caucasus Federal District Main Investigation Directorate of the Russia’s Investigative Committee has started a criminal case against citizen of Ukraine Alexander Muzychko (aka Sashko Bely) under part of article 209 of the RF Penal Code (creating a stable armed group (gang) to attack Russians and leadership of the gang).

The reason for the investigation was the data received during an investigation into a clash of the illegal armed units led by Shamil Basayev and Khattab with servicemen of Pskov division of Airborne Troops near the village of Ulus-Kert in the Chechen Republic in 2000.

During the inquiry investigators have interviewed a member of nationalism party, the Ukrainian National Assembly - Ukrainian People's Self-Defense (UNA-UNSO), who fought in Chechnya in 1994-2000. He told that had joined the UNA-UNSO in 1991. During his visit to the training facility of the UNA-UNSO in the town of Ivano-Frankovsk in Ukraine he met other members of the party, including one of its leaders and founders Alexander Muzychko (alias Sashko Bely). At the said facility the members of the UNA-UNSO were trained shooting and hand-to-hand fighting, in addition to propaganda and ideological brainwashing carried out by leaders of the party, including Muzychko.

In spring 1993 he again came to the training facility in Ivano-Frankovsk, where was trained as a sniper for 18 months. Muzychko taught tactics and strategy using firearms and cold arms.

In late December 1994, the best trainees of the organization in small groups were sent to Chechnya to fight against Russian federal forces. First they were brought to Kiev and then to Georgia by plane owned by the Georgian armed forces. In late December 1994, in Grozny the members of the UNA-UNSO met with Muzychko, who being one of the leaders of the organization talked with commanders of subversive groups and gave them orders.

In 1994-1995 Muzychko and other members of UNA-UNSO took part in clashes with the federal forces during the storm of Grozny. In January 1995 the interviewee repeatedly saw how Muzychko brutally tortured the captive Russian servicemen and then killed them. In all, during the said period Muzychko personally tortured and killed no fewer than 20 captive Russian servicemen demanding information. During the tortures of the officers he broke their fingers, put out their eyes using different objects, used pliers to pull out their nails and teeth, slashed throats to some of them and shot down the others. This way by his actions he showed others hatred he felt toward Russian soldiers.

The member of the UNA-UNSO told about other crimes committed by him, Muzychko and other members of the UNA-UNSO against Russian federal forces in Chechnya in 1994-2000.

During the identification of pictures, the interviewee recognized Muzychko as one who fought together with him in Chechnya on the side of the insurgents.

On 7 March 2014, it was decided to prosecute Muzychko as the accused and he was put on an international list of wanted criminals and investigators asked the court to take him in custody as restraint. We don’t rule out that during the inquiry there might be more charges.

In conclusion I would like to stress that several members of the UNA-UNSO have already been convicted of similar crimes committed in the Russian Federation and are now serving their time in jail. There is no doubt that the same faith awaits this “hero”, who can nothing, but torture and kill the unarmed and captive.

Head of Media Relations                                                                                                       V.I. Markin