Unnamed victim : “U.S. Charges Four Russian Soldiers with War Crimes in Ukraine Abduction and Torture Case”

Death – Obituary – Accident and Crime News : Washington — The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that federal prosecutors in the U.S. have charged four Russian soldiers with war crimes for allegedly abducting and torturing an American citizen in Ukraine shortly after Russia’s invasion. The soldiers, identified as Suren Seiranovich Mkrtchyan, Dmitry Budnik, Valerii, and Nazar, have been charged with three war crimes, including unlawful confinement, torture, and inhuman treatment, as well as conspiracy to commit war crimes.

According to the indictment filed in the Eastern District of Virginia, the soldiers abducted the unnamed victim from the village of Mylove in southern Ukraine in April 2022. They allegedly beat him and held him in custody for 10 days, during which they subjected him to interrogation sessions and torture. The victim was stripped of his clothes, photographed, and beaten. In one particularly brutal session, Budnik threatened the victim with death and asked him for his last words. The victim believed he was about to be killed when the soldiers moved the gun just before pulling the trigger. After the mock execution, the victim was beaten and interrogated again.

The charges against the Russian soldiers represent the Justice Department’s first criminal charges under the U.S. war crimes statute. Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized that these charges are an important step toward accountability for Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, but he also acknowledged that there is more work to be done.

The Justice Department has been actively involved in assisting Ukraine in investigating and gathering evidence of Russian war crimes. They have established a War Crimes Accountability team to investigate potential war crimes in Ukraine falling under U.S. jurisdiction. During a year-long investigation, federal investigators traveled to Europe to speak with the victim, who had been evacuated after his ordeal.

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and FBI Director Christopher Wray, whose investigators participated in the investigation, commended Ukraine’s law enforcement for their work. Mayorkas described the evidence gathered by the agents as speaking to the brutality, criminality, and depravity of Russia.

Moving forward, the Justice Department expects to bring more charges related to war crimes committed by Russia. The charges against these four soldiers serve as a significant milestone in holding them accountable for their alleged actions and sending a message that such crimes will not go unpunished.

In conclusion, the Justice Department’s announcement of charging four Russian soldiers with war crimes for allegedly abducting and torturing an American citizen in Ukraine reflects the U.S. government’s commitment to seeking justice and accountability for the atrocities committed during Russia’s invasion. The charges mark a crucial step in the ongoing efforts to address the illegal war in Ukraine and bring those responsible to justice.

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