war crimes in Ukraine

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The Military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv garrison has begun a campaign against “dedovshchina”


According to the information given by senior lieutenant of justice S. Trubchaninov, a deputy of the military prosecutor of the Kharkiv garrison, during 2005 the officers of military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv garrison regularly took the preventive measures against the illegal relations between servicemen (the so-called “dedovshchina”). The speeches were delivered to servicemen, as well as individual talks. As a result, no facts of dedovshchina were registered during the first six months of the current year.

Yet, in spite of the work carried out in this sphere, in July 2005 a deplorable incident happened in a higher military school.

On 8 July 2005, about 2 p.m., junior sergeant A. Kovalenko applied physical force to his subordinate private S. Bilousov: he twice hit with his fist the soldier’s head thus injuring to the latter the severe physical pain.

A. Kovalenko continued his criminal deeds, when on 11 July 2005, about 7 p.m., staying in the common room in the barrack, he hit private Bilousov with the right fist in back and head, inflicting slight bodily injuries.

Besides, on 8 July 2005, about 10 p.m., in the same room, sergeant Kovalenko beat private P. Ivanchenko.

On 10 July 2005, about 4 p.m., in the common washroom, Kovalenko delivered a strong blow in the chest to private O. Levosiuk, and 11 July again beat the soldier injuring the severe physical pain to him.

After consideration of the criminal case the military local court of the Kharkiv garrison sentenced junior sergeant A. Kovalenko to incarceration in the guardhouse for the term of 4 months.

“Prava ludyny” commentary. Our edition believes that it is its duty to cooperate with the military prosecutor’s office of the Kharkiv garrison for the purpose of protection of servicemen from dedovshchina. The bulletin “Prava ludyny” permanently cooperates with the representatives of the Kharkiv oblast union of soldiers’ mothers, which carry out, for several years, the monitoring of violations of the rights of servicemen. We also published the book “Monitoring of violations of the rights of servicemen” on the results of this monitoring.

Yet, the Kharkiv oblast union of soldiers’ mothers is a non-governmental organization. It can only attract the attention to the painful problems of our army. The fact that the military prosecutor’s office has started, judging from the letter to our bulletin, the systematic struggle against dedovshchina is a feature of our time. We have written more than once that dedovshchina is a terrible social disease, inherited by our army from the Soviet time.

The illegal relations very frequently result in invalidity or death of servicemen, breakdown of psychics of boys, who, after their return to the society, continue the chain reaction of violence.

The impunity of these monstrous relations in the army gave no opportunity to change the situation for the better.

Today we see that the will and wish have appeared to relieve the army from the shameful display of violence. We hope that this work would be systematic and efficient. We, for out part, promise to publish all materials rendered to us by the military prosecutor’s office. Besides, we are turning to our colleagues from mass media, but not special juridical editions like our bulletin, with the appeal to elucidate this topic in their publications. We want to emphasize once more: the entire society is interested in the struggle with violence in the Ukrainian army.

Inna Sukhorukova

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