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.

Messages about torture and cruel treatment. (from 1 January 1999 to 1 May 2000)

Messages about torture and cruel treatment

From 1 January 1999 to 1 May 2000 the following information on applying torture and other prohibited methods of investigation was sent to the Kharkiv Group for human rights protection:

1. S. I. Kuzin is convicted according to Article 94 of the CC of Ukraine for the murder of his wife to 12 years of imprisonment. He is kept in УИН 312-28 of the Donetsk oblast. He informs that during the crime investigation by the department in the town of Berdiansk of the Zaporozhye oblast in summer 1994 he was beaten by Andrusenko, the head of the crime investigation of Berdiansk, and by the head of executive department. Besides, Kuzin informs that he was threatened by sanctions to his son and granddaughter. On 30 July 1994 Kuzin, according to his words, was brought to the office of R. E. Tarto, the head of the crime investigation of the Zaporozhye oblast. Investigating officer V. N. Zherebtsov and a man unknown to Kuzin were also present in the office. Kuzin was offered a glass of tea. What happened later he could not recollect. Yet, when Kuzin regained his memory, he was shown his own confession in murdering his wife. Kuzin rejects the accusation. A court of Berdiansk, presided by judge G. V. Kartoflitsky, did not take into account Kuzin’s complaint of the illegal actions of the investigation. Kuzin writes: ‘… Nobody pays attention, nobody wants to listen to me’.

2. S. P. Burov from the town of Pavlograd of the Dnepropetrovsk oblast residing at 26/1 Sovetskaya street writes that on 28 June 1998 he drove a car in the state of light alcohol intoxication and was stopped by the road police. They put handcuffs on Burov, although he did not try to resist, and then he was taken to a detention block, where he stood from 21 hours to 12 hours of the next day. All this time Burov was not fed and was not taken out of the cell. During this time his car was robbed of personal things of the owner. The prosecutor’s office of Pavlograd refused to start the criminal case against the road policemen.

3. I. Yu. Chisliak doing his term in юе 390/196 of the city of Donetsk writes in his letter that on 19 December 1998 he was beaten in the City Department of internal affairs of the town of Khartsiz of the Donetsk oblast: ‘They beat me with hands and feet and with militia clubs’. The fact of beating was confirmed by the medical act and a testimony of witnesses. Yet, the prosecutor’s office of Khartsiz answered that ‘the actions of militiamen were inside the frame of law’. The Donetsk oblast prosecutor’s office answered that ‘if they decided in Khartsiz that all was OK, this means that it was so’.

4. Guseynov Sarvar Musa-Ogly, an Azerbaijanian, accused according to Article 140 part 3 of the CC of Ukraine and kept in the preliminary prison of the town of Artemovsk, wrote in his letter of 17 February 1999 that Zavgarov, Dorofeev and other investigating officers of the town of Gorlovka of the Donetsk oblast tortured him. After beating, ‘… when I was regaining consciousness’, they put a gas mask on me and stopped the income of the air. I lost consciousness many times. In between, when I was semi-conscious, they put some papers to me and forced me to sign them’. Guseynov tells that he was not fed in the detention block, and since Guseynov had neither friends nor relatives in Gorlovka, he was starving. Investigating officers Zavgarov and Dorofeev tried to extort from Guseynov a bribe of 4000 USD, threatened to take Guseynov to the Gorlovka water reservoir and shoot him, threatened to frame him with Article 117 (rape). Guseynov, who badly knows Russian, was not able to get an advocate and an interpreter. Detective Grishchenko did not check the alibi of the accused, who asserted that at the moment of the crime, of which he was accused, he stayed in a hospital. Judge Reutova, having heard from Guseynov on the illegal methods of investigation, answered that he invented all this to dodge the law.

5. Anatoliy Voskoboynikov is blamed after Article 140 part 2 of the CC of Ukraine and is kept in the preliminary prison of the town of Artemovsk. He is the invalid of the second group after a cerebral brain trauma. According to his complaint, V. N. Subbotin, a detective of Enakievo town department of interior, convinced him to confess a car theft in such a way: ‘… He bandaged strips of a blanket around my wrists, then he put handcuffs on my wrists passing them under my knees. Then he put a wooden bar of 10 x 10 cross section and about 1 meter long between my breast and my elbow. Other cops raised me and hung between two tables. Then they beat me with fists and feet and with a boxing glove’. The detained was left to spend the night in the precinct, hungry and fastened with handcuffs. This happened, according to Voskoboynikov’s complaint, on 3 November 1998. We passed the complaints of Guseynov and Voskoboynikov to the ombudsperson Nina Karpacheva and to the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine. Checking of this two complaints was taken under the ombudsperson’s control.

6. Valentina I. Dziubenko informed us that torture was applied to her son S. M. Dziubenko in Krasnokuts district precinct of the Kharkov oblast and in the detention block of Kharkov. S. M. Dziubenko was detained on 3 August 1998 and on 13 August ‘voluntarily confessed his crime’. All this time, from 3 to 14 August, the family did not know where S. M. Dziubenko was. Mother supposes that illegal methods of investigation were applied to her son not without the knowledge of the prosecutor of the Krasnokut district Khristenko. The oblast court refused the request of the defense on carrying a forensic medicine expertise with an X-ray checkup. According to S. M. Dziubenko, in the course of the investigation they broke his left collar-bone and several ribs on the right. The prosecutor’s office of the Kharkov oblast did not find any confirmation of illegal actions on the side of crime investigators. On 10 December 1999 S. M. Dziubenko was considered guilty in three murders and condemned by the Kharkov oblast court to the capital punishment. Dziubenko does not find himself guilty. At present his case is considered at a cassation instance. It should be noted that one murder of the three had been already confessed by some other culprit, O. M. Zhelkov. The latter said that torture was not applied to him and detectives ‘just persuaded him to confess’ in a murder that he had not committed.

7. Viacheslav V. Kanishchev is kept in the Donetsk preliminary prison No. 1. He writes that on 13 December 1999 he was beaten during 30 hours; he was kept in handcuffs without food and water. All this happened in Voroshilov precinct of the city of Donetsk. Later, being kept in the preliminary prison, Kanishchev wrote complaints to the Donetsk oblast prosecutor’s office and to the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine, but got no response. When our Group turned to the General Prosecutor’s office of Ukraine on 3 March 2000, we got the answer of 15 March, in which we were informed that our letter was directed for consideration to the Donetsk oblast prosecutor’s office. We did not get any answer within the term determined by law. We turned to the oblast prosecutor’s office for the second time and got the answer that our letter was directed to the prosecutor’s office of Voroshilov district. The correspondence have already lasted for three months, but no investigation has been started.

8. A. I. Vetvitskaya, the sister of Aleksandr I. Kishchik, many times turned to various instances and mass media with the request to pay attention to the case of her brother arrested on 14 September 1997 by the Department of the struggle with economic crimes of the town of Konstantinovka of the Donetsk oblast. According to the sister, illegal methods of crime investigation were applied to A. Kishchik. In Kishchik’s file there is evidence of eye-witnesses, an act of forensic medicine expertise, that confirmed the presence of injuries. There are also documents confirming that Kishchik turned to the medical unit of the Artemovsk preliminary prison. Nonetheless, the prosecutors of Konstantinovka and the Donetsk oblast ‘refused to start the criminal case concerning officers of Konstantinovka department because of the absence of corpus delicti’. This was kindly communicated to us by the Ministry of Interior.

9. A. G. Tarasov, kept under investigation in preliminary prison No. 5 of Donetsk, wrote to the Kharkiv Group for human rights protection about refined torture (putting a plastic bag on the head, putting on a gas mask, striking sexual organs with electrical current, to say nothing of the trivial beating) that were applied to him by the officers of the department of struggle with organized crime in the town of Makeevka of the Donetsk oblast in January 2000. We communicated with his advocate. He told that during the court session other culprits figuring in the same case declared to the court that illegal methods of investigation had been applied to them. According to Tarasov, the information on the methods applied to him was passed to Skuratov, the head of the Makeevka Directorate of interior, and Kuzmin, the prosecutor of Makeevka. At present the case is considered by Gorniatskiy district court of Makeevka. After the complaint of all accused in this case about the application of torture the court made a break, but it did not direct the victims to the forensic medical expertise. Only in a month the said expertise was applied. Tarasov’s wife informed us through the telephone that she and her underage daughter were threatened by unknown men, who promised cruel sanctions, if she did not stop to complaint. The prosecutor’s office of Makeevka in answer to our letter wrote that ‘in the process of checking up all the arguments of the claimant it is established that while placing Tarasov to the detention block he was examined by the motor ambulance doctor and consulted by a surgeon and urologist of Makeevka hospital No. 1. The detained A. G. Tarasov did not complain to the above-mentioned doctors about the application to him cruel methods of investigation by militiamen. In the record of the call of the motor ambulance on 14 January 2000 it is written: ‘According to the words of the client, he fell down on the previous day’. The facts described in Tarasov’s complaint did not find any confirmation, therefore the prosecutor of Makeevka ordered to refuse to start the criminal case about Tarasov’s injuries. The prosecutor even did not pay attention to the fact that Tarasov was detained by militia at 5:30 in the morning of 13 January, so he ‘fell down’ already in the militia precinct. He fell so clumsily that later he needed consultations of an urologist, a surgeon and assistance from a motor ambulance, that was summoned a day later by militia.

10. Antonina Boyarskaya, Valentina Boyarskaya, Viktor Zinchenko, Igor Vakulenko, Sergey Skrynnik and Natalya Artiukh complained on 26 February 1999 to the Kharkiv Group for human rights protection about illegal methods of investigation that were applied to them by detective I. M. Bolotnikova with the purpose of getting evidence against Oleg Boyarskiy, who is accused of theft of personal property. When the witnesses refused to give the demanded testimony, Bolotnikova picked up the telephone receiver and said: ‘Kuz, come to work with the witnesses’. They beat on the midriff handcuffed V. Boyarskaya, disregarding the fact that several days before the interrogation she underwent a cavity gynecological operation. Some detectives laid V. Zinchenko downface on the table and twisted his hands. Other witnesses have confessed to us that they are afraid of torture and dodge the summons of the investigating officer. Skrynnik declared that detective Kuz strangled him forcing to frame O. Boyarskiy. Our repeated complaints to the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior, prosecutor’s office and court are answered by writing that no illegal actions have been applied by the investigating officers.

11. Application of torture to witnesses for getting the needed testimony is a routine. D. V. Kirkovskiy, a witness of a murder case, writes to our group: ‘I was detained on 12 February 1999 and was taken to be interrogated. The interrogation lasted three days. They beat me, threatened to imprison me, fastened me to a grate with handcuffs, put me into a desperate situation’. As a result, he framed Gridnev accused of murder. At the court session Kirkovskiy tried to tell how they squeezed his testimony, but judge E. V. Osepchuk (Khartsiz town court of the Donetsk oblast) completely ignored these attempts and used only the testimony of the previous interrogation.

12. V. A. Servatinskiy has been kept in the preliminary prison for more than a year. All accusations against him are based on the anonymous telephone call and his confession squeezed from him by illegal methods in Dergachi district precinct (the Kharkov oblast). The court directed his case for an auxiliary investigation to the same precinct, and Servatinskiy continues to be kept in the prison. Servatinskiy is 61, he is an invalid of group 3. We learned that he caught TB in the prison.

13. Aleksey Yu. Bugayev (preliminary prison No. 7 in Mariupol) writes that the investigator of his case S. M. Shiyatiy (Novoazovskiy prosecutor’s office of the Donetsk oblast) listened to the complaint of torture and answered: ‘If you refuse of your confession, I’ll sent you back to the district precinct’. Novoazovskiy district court (judge V. I. Tkachenko) found Bugayev guilty. The verdict was countermanded by the Donetsk oblast court and the case was directed for the auxiliary investigation to the same investigating officer. No assessment of the militia actions was given in the verdict. All the complaints were directed to the very people about whom the complaints were written.

14. A. V. Komarchuk, found guilty and staying in a prison, wrote: ‘The primary evidence was beaten out of me by detective Kliavochkin’ (Mariupol, Zhovtnevy district).

15. N. I. Mikhlik, condemned by Mariupol town court on 19 October 1998, told that militiamen in the district precinct ‘… began to apply their methods of investigation. They tied me to a chair and applied electricity, then they beat me on the head with a book, then they put ball-points between my fingers and pressed, and twisted… I came to myself when someone gave me to smell liquid ammonia. Then someone proposed to apply ‘lastochka’ (‘swallow’) to me, but they were lazy to do it’.

16. The parents Tolmachevs from the town of Gorlovka have complained that their son was beaten while detention.

17. Vladimir V. Syrykh, residing at 4 Paris Commune street, Apt. 147, in Makeevla of the Donetsk oblast, wrote to us. In the letter of 23 May 2000 he told us the following: ‘On 21 May 1998 in the town of Makeevka at 11 o’clock in the morning I was beaten by militiamen at the sight of passersby. I was knocked down and taken to the central precinct without any explanations. In an office of the precinct I was tortured and treated inhumanly. I stayed in the precinct from 21 May to 26 May 1998; the most part of the time I was suspended with handcuffs to the tubes of the heating system. Some absolute strangers tormented me, then some cops forced me to sign a refusal from an advocate’. Syrykh fainted several times, and a motor ambulance was summoned. Sometimes more sophisticated methods were applied to him. So he wrote that some detectives of the Voroshilovskiy precinct took him to the Donetsk water reservoir, put handcuffs on his wrists and ankles, tied automobile protectors to his legs and threatened to drown him. The court, to which Syrykh told about illegal actions of the detectives, did not do anything to check the information and treated it as attempts to dodge the responsibility.

18. Brothers Dmitriy and Gennadiy Buriaks, accused by Article 93 of the CC of Ukraine in the murder of two people, informed us on the application of torture to them in militia of Kharkov. Their case had been twice directed for the auxiliary investigation and now it is considered by the Kharkov oblast court. Gennadiy Buriak declared at the court session that by application of such methods, which were applied to him, it is possible to get any confession. He said that detectives broke his leg and put out cigarettes on his flesh; they beat him and held him in handcuffs on his wrists and ankles all the time (ten days) of keeping in the precinct.
 Share this