Russia opens case against Ukraine’s commander-in-chief for crimes committed in Mariupol

President Zelensky shakes the hand of Valery Zaluzhny - Image CC President.gov.ua

You can be forgiven for blinking twice, but yes Russia has opened a criminal case against the commander-in-chief of the Ukraine defence force for the use of prohibited means and methods of warfare.

As reported by the Tass news agency on Friday, December 30 the Investigative Committee of Russia said it was pressing charges against Valery Zaluzhny and other Ukrainian military commanders.

They said: “Based on the information received, a criminal case was initiated against the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Zaluzhny, the commander of the operation of the Joint Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant General Pavlyuk, the commander of the operational and tactical group “East” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Lieutenant General Sodol and the commander of the National Guard of Ukraine Lieutenant General Lebed.”

The case was also initiated against the commander of the 12th operational brigade of the eastern territorial association of the National Guard of Ukraine, Colonel Shlegi, the commander of the 12th operational brigade of the National Guard of Ukraine of a separate special purpose detachment “Azov” (banned in the territory of the Russian Federation) Major Prokopenko and other officials of the National Guard of Ukraine, the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other Ukrainian military formations.

The criminal case was initiated under Art. 356 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (“Use of prohibited means and methods of warfare”).

Mariupol was decimated by indiscriminate Russian shelling that killed and injured thousands of civilians in case well documented by the West and human rights organisations. The country also continues to target civilians and civilian facilities across Ukraine, illegal in international law yet there is no mention of any action being taken against its own forces.

Russia clearly has no intention of adhering to international law but instead continues to push its own narrative in the hope that it can one day bring those to justice that they allege are Nazis and who have committed crimes against Russian citizens.

The opening of a criminal case against Ukraine’s commander-in-chief for crimes committed in Mariupol is evidence of the country’s willingness to distort the truth to achieve its goal of retaining areas it illegally annexed in Ukraine.


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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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