In a village west of Kiev, retreating Russian troops left behind a traumatized population, such as residents of the village of Motizhin, where the farm was the scene of torture and ill-treatment. How to find and judge those responsible for this massacre? “Complément d’Enquête” tried to follow their trail. Journalists were able to contact Russian soldiers who may have been present at the scene.
The bombing of a school or maternity hospital as in Mariupol, mass graves discovered under the eyes of cameras … since the beginning of the offensive, the Russian army has been accused of violating international law and committing war crimes in Ukraine. But how to identify soldiers and prove that they deliberately targeted civilians? How to determine responsibilities? NGOs and journalists around the world analyze almost real-time images and videos that could help try the culprits. The “Complément d’Enquête” tried to put a face on those whom history can label as executioners.
West of Kiev, Motizhin was the scene of torture and serial executions. The farm, which is located at the exit from the village, has become a symbol of the horror that fell on the residents in a month. The bodies of the whole family were exhumed. Then those two volunteers, probably executed by a Russian battalion whose mission was to eliminate resistance groups in the region. The military documents they managed to pass on to their commander made it possible to identify the Russian infantry regiment: the 37th Motorized Brigade, which came from Kjahta, in Buryatia, and to pass its way precisely. How to prove his presence when war crimes were committed? Those responsible for the murder have fled, but are now wanted.
The photo was published on the Russian social network
To try to find them, the “Complementary Investigation” used a list published by the Ukrainian intelligence services. More than 700 members of the 37th Brigade are listed. Among those names may be the torturers from the farm. Journalists contacted some of them via the Russian social network.
So is this driver-mechanic who posted his photo in his hands. The yard in which he is posing has been identified: it is located in Kolonščina, less than 15 kilometers north of Motižin. On the phone, the soldier will quickly recognize his presence in Ukraine, but will refuse to say more, contenting to do so again.“a Russian soldier can handle anything.”
Excerpt from “War Crimes: The Face of the Executioner”, a document that you will see in the “Supplementary Investigation” on June 23, 2022.
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