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.

Putin’s ‘heroes’: from inciting kids to suicide to killing Ukrainians and teaching ‘patriotism’ in Russian schools

Halya Coynash
Russia presumably needs more prison space for political prisoners from occupied parts of Ukraine, with almost all non-political prisoners pushed to opt for killing Ukrainians rather than Russian detention

Aleksandr Glazov, who incited kids to kill themselves in his new role as ’authority on Russian patriotism’ Photo from the Military Brotherhood site

Aleksandr Glazov, who incited kids to kill themselves in his new role as ’authority on Russian patriotism’ Photo from the Military Brotherhood site

Alexander Glazov was convicted in 2019 and sentenced to six years for his active role in an online ‘death group’ inciting and instructing Russian kids on how to commit suicide. The sentence was dramatically lower that those passed, without any crime, against Crimean Tatar and other Ukrainian political prisoners, but even that was waived when Glazov agreed to kill Ukrainians as a Wagner Group mercenary.  Since he returned from his killing activities, it is likely he was one of a huge number of convicted criminals whose slate was wiped clean following a pardon from Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and who are now being touted as ‘war veterans’ and invited to teach children about ‘courage’ and ‘serving their country’.  These would appear to be the individuals whom Putin on 29 February referred to as “Russia’s elite”, “reliable, tested by their deeds and having proven their commitment to Russia”, and “worthy people”.  

For the time being at least, Glazov has not become one of a mounting number of former prisoners who have committed new, often gruesome, crimes since their release. 

Although only noticed by independent Russian publications in April 2024, the ‘lesson’ took place in October 2023 in the Moscow region town of Kotelniki.  The photo on the ‘Military Brotherhood’s’ site shows the mercenary standing with the teacher after receiving flowers for teaching the children about ‘patriotism’ and his supposed ‘service’ in the zone of what Russia continues to call its ‘special military operation’.

The so-called ‘Wagner private military company’, clearly working closely with Russia’s penal service, were happy to take men imprisoned for multiple or especially savage killings, violent crimes, etc.  Unsurprisingly, many of these convicted prisoners turned ‘war veterans’ have committed new, horrific crimes.  At the end of February, a former prisoner, pardoned by Putin and sent, for money, to fight in Ukraine, returned to his home town in Yakutia and murdered a woman who had won the competition for ‘best teacher in Russia’ and a man.

Until recently, there were numerous reports suggesting that Russian courts tended to be very lenient with so-called ‘veterans’ who had committed new crimes (except, perhaps, murder).  The fact alone that their slate had been wiped clean already meant that they were officially treated as first-time offenders.   

That situation may well have changed as Russia’s legislators recently passed a law on amendments to various legislation.  The new amendments mean that essentially anybody held in detention in Russia or occupied Crimea can hope to be released from imprisonment if he or she agrees to fight against Ukraine.  Aside from paedophilia,  the only charges that will not be waived are those standardly used against Ukrainian and Russian political prisoners (‘spying’, ‘terrorist’ charges without any terrorism, sabotage).  According to the bill passed into law in March 2024, even those who are believed to have committed several murders, and those who had earlier committed crimes, been pardoned and then committed new crimes, will be able to sign a contract to fight in Ukraine instead of detention.  The only difference now is that remand or convicted prisoners will not be able to fight for six months and be sent home.

See:  Agree to kill Ukrainians and Russia will free all but political prisoners

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