The “Supreme Courts” of the annexed LPR and DPR have sentenced three Ukrainian citizens accused of war crimes, the Russian Investigative Committee said.
Among those convicted is Maxim Butkevich, a Ukrainian human rights activist, one of the founders of Hromadske Radio. The report of the Russian Investigative Committee says that Butkevich was found guilty of ill-treatment of the civilian population and the use of prohibited methods in an armed conflict, as well as attempted murder of two persons in a generally dangerous way and deliberate damage to other people’s property in a generally dangerous way.
Butkevich served in the “Berlingo” battalion of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as a platoon commander. According to the Investigative Committee, on June 4, in Severodonetsk, he fired from an anti-tank grenade launcher at the entrance of a residential building. “As a result, two civilians were injured, property was also destroyed,” the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation said in a statement. Butkevich, said the Investigative Committee, “fully admitted his guilt, repented of his deed.” A court in the annexed LPR sentenced Butkevich to 13 years in prison.
Vladislav Shel and Viktor Pokhozey, fighters of the Azov Battalion who defended Mariupol, were also sentenced. Shel was accused of firing a machine gun at a civilian (the statement of the Investigative Committee says that he “managed to bend down and lie down on the floor, and therefore escaped death”), and Pokhozei was accused of ill-treatment of a resident of Mariupol, whom he “inflicted blows on body and face with legs and the butt of a machine gun. The court sentenced Shel to 18 and a half years in prison, Pokhozei – eight and a half years.
Maxim Butkevich has been involved in human rights activities, including being a board member of the Amnesty International branch. He also worked as a journalist on the STB and 1 + 1 TV channels, became a co-founder of Hromadske Radio and a correspondent for BBC News, recalls Mediazona. After the start of a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine, Butkevich left to fight. On June 24, he was taken prisoner near the village of Mirnaya Dolina in the Luhansk region.
Butkevich was mentioned in her Nobel speech by the head of the Ukrainian “Center for Civil Liberties” Oleksandra Matviychuk.