war crimes in Ukraine

The Tribunal for Putin (T4P) global initiative was set up in response to the all-out war launched by Russia against Ukraine in February 2022.

Appeal of Oleksiy Svetikov, the editor of the newspaper «Tretiy sektor», to mass media

The author informs his colleagues about the actions of the Lugansk oblast USS and the oblast prosecutor’s office in the connection with the planned attempt at O. Svetikov.

Respected colleagues!

I want to inform you about the actions of the Lugansk oblast USS and the oblast prosecutor’s office. I regard these actions as inadmissible, violating the Ukrainian laws and international obligations of Ukraine.

This opinion is grounded on the following facts. On 7 June 2003 citizen R. turned to me. He warned me that some persons, who were displeased with the publications in the newspaper «Tretiy sektor», proposed to pay him 500 USD, if he would beat me inflicting the injuries sufficient for getting to a hospital. According to him, he did not know, who gave the order, since he dealt only with the intermediary. On the same day I phoned to MP Yu. Ioffe and informed him about this incident, and the MP turned to the USS. In the evening of that day the investigating officers of the Lugansk oblast USS met with me. The officers proposed me to meet with R. and to persuade him to cooperate with the USS in order to disclose the crime. The USS officers did not provide either the escort or the technical support, thus violating the demands of the Law «On the ODA». My colleagues E. Bayramov and S. Kamyshan escorted me and observed our meeting with R. from the distance of 20–30meters.

The next day, on 8 June 2003, I met with R., but he refused to turn to the USS, and proposed to imitate the fulfillment of the order.

On 9 June 2003 I was summoned to the Severodonetsk town USS directorate again. There I wrote the application and orally agreed to take part in the ODA for finding the organizers of the attack and, if it would be needed, to participate in the imitation of the fulfillment of the order. I told to the USS officers that my safety in future could be guaranteed only if the organizers of the crime would be found and brought to responsibility. The officers proposed to meet with R. one time more and to do the audio record of our talk. I am sure that thelaw-enforcersknew that this record would not have any legal effect and any practical significance for accusation of the persons, who prepared the crime. Yet, they did not take any measures envisaged by the Law of Ukraine «On the ODA».

However, I met with R. again and recorded our talk using the dictaphone, which was hidden in my bag. According to R.’s words, he had been already invited to the USS and refused to help them. In the course of the talk I managed to persuade him to cooperate with the USS, he again confirmed the fact of the order and was afraid that his family would suffer from this incident. I made the copy of the cassette, and passed the original record to the USS.

On 12 June 2003 I received a copy of the letter of 10 June 2003 sent by the USS of the Lugansk oblast to the Lugansk oblast prosecutor. The letter informed about the delivery of the materials to the proper prosecutor’s office. The materials included: my application of 9 June 2003, R.’s explanations, report on two pages, act of the transcript of the audio record on four pages and the cassette. On 13 June 2003 Grachev, the head of the Severodonetsk regional USS directorate, phoned to me and advised not to leave my flat without escort during three days. I took this advice: my colleague S. Kamyshan accompanied me.

On 16 June Grachev phoned me again and informed that I did not need the escort any more, since the organizers of the attack had been found, and the prophylactic talk had been held with them. He did not mention the names of these people, but said that they were former and actual militiamen.

On 2 July 2003 G. Svistun, an investigator of the prosecutor’s office of Severodonetsk, refused to institute the criminal case because of the impossibility to establish the persons, who, possibly, had been preparing the crime.

On 7 August 2003 this decision was reversed by the oblast prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor’s office conducted the check that was headed by investigator of Severodonetsk prosecutor’s office Fedotov, who, in particular, questioned S. Kamyshan and E. Bayramov.

On 5 September 2003 the oblast prosecutor’s office also refused to start the criminal case.

I regard the actions of the Lugansk oblast USS directorate and the prosecutor’s office of the Lugansk oblast as illegal and violating the international obligations of Ukraine in the sphere of the freedom of speech. If the information about the imminent crime was true, and the USS find the organizers of this crime, then the unwillingness of thelaw-enforcingorgans to bring the guilty to responsibility looks very strange. I cannot feel myself safe under such circumstances.

Oleksiy Svetikov

6 December 2003

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