The efforts of the Maidan Monitoring Information Center in documenting war crimes in the Kharkiv Region, on behalf of and in cooperation with investigators of the Security Service of Ukraine, have yielded results that we can now share.
May 20, 2023, Prosecutor General of Ukraine filed a criminal indictment for war of aggression against Lieutenant General Andrii Ruzynskyi, Commander of the 11th Army Corps of the Baltic Fleet of the Western Military District of the Russian Armed Forces. Between March and July, 2022, Ruzynskyi served as the Commander of the Russian military unit “Balakliya” and ordered Russian troops under his command to break through Ukraine’s sovereign border for the purpose of initiating the full-scale invasion, capture and occupation of the Kharkiv region.
Ruzynkyi’s subordinates conducted military operations on the territory of Kharkiv, Chuguyiv and Izyum, in the Kharkiv region, specifically in the direction of the town of Chuguyiv and the village of Husarivka in the Balakliya territorial community, in order to advance on Kharkiv, Barvinkove and Lozova. Once he captured Balakliya, Ruzynkyi commandeered its local military headquarters. Investigation revealed that over 4,000 Russian soldiers under his command shelled, bombed and otherwise attacked Kharkiv, Chuguyiv and surrounding settlements, destroying residential buildings and civilian and critical infrastructure of the Kharkiv Region.
Evidence shows that all weapons systems used during the hostilities were directly under Ruzynskyi’s control and command. In particular, the weapon systems used in these attacks included combat bombers and fighter jets, Mi-8 and Ka-52 attack helicopters, anti-aircraft missile batteries, barrel artillery of all calibre, heavy “Buratino” and “Solntsepyok” flamethrower systems and multiple “Smerch” rocket launchers.
You can read the full text of the indictment against Andrii Ruzynskyi on the website of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.
The investigation found information on more than 1,000 Russian soldiers who received awards for fighting in the territory of the Kharkiv region as part of the “Balakliya” military group.
Andriy Ruzynskyi himself was transferred to Russia in July 2022 and received the military rank of Lieutenant general for conducting aggressive hostilities on the territory of the Kharkiv region.
This is a first indictment for a war of aggression in the Kharkiv region. It was filed under Article 437 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code. The Russian general is accused in particular of “aggressive military actions committed by a group of persons based on a prior conspiracy.”
Members of Maidan Monitoring Information Center’s team, in particular Yevhen Tytarenko, Serhii Petrov and Nataliya Zubar, participated as involved specialists in investigative and procedural actions for the collection of evidence, in analytical work on the processing of materials that formed the evidence base of this criminal case, which is being investigated by investigators of the Ukrainian Security Service of Ukraine in Kharkiv region.
Our team was involved in the search, processing and analysis of open source information. Behind these words stands a huge amount of work done, which lasted for more than half a year and in which members of our team participated.
We often emphasise that the war crimes investigation takes a very long time. Collection and processing of the evidence base which made it possible to file an indictment against Lieutenant General of the Russian Federation Andrii Ruzynskyi lasted from March 2022 until May 2023. This long and scrupulous work requires proper documentation of evidence, its processing, conducting examinations and many other investigative and procedural actions.
The investigation of this criminal proceeding will continue in the future, new evidence will be collected and added, which is needed to prove Ruzynskyi’s guilt in Ukrainian and possibly in international courts.
Our team asks everyone who knows about the actions, location of Russian servicemen, commanders of units from the “Balakliya” group and of Ruzynsky himself, about the documents related to their stay in the territories of Kharkiv region when it was occupied by Russian troops, other information about them and their crimes committed against civilians during the occupation of the Chuguyiv and Izyum districts of the Kharkiv region, contact us – we will pass this information and materials directly to the investigators of Security Service of Ukraine in the Kharkiv region. You can contact us via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Serhii Petrov, Russian war crimes documenter, Secretary of Maidan Monitoring Information Center
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