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POW Maksym Butkevych sentenced to 13 years in a high security prison

10.03.2023, 12:18
Photo: Maksym Butkevych on Facebook
Photo: Maksym Butkevych on Facebook

The "courts" of the ORDLO sentenced Ukrainian human rights activist and POW Maksym Butkevych to 13 years in a high-security prison. The Investigative Committee of Russia reported this on their website.

Butkevych and two other Ukrainian citizens, POWs Victor Pokhoziy and Vladyslav Shelya, were found guilty "of abusing the civilian population and using prohibited methods in an armed conflict (Part 1 of Article 356 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation)."

Butkevich was also accused of "attempted murder of two persons with a generally dangerous tool and deliberately damaging someone else's property with a generally dangerous tool."

According to the Investigative Committee's report, Butkevych was a platoon commander in the Berlingo separate special battalion. On June 4 of last year, he allegedly received an order to inspect the streets and residential buildings in Severodonetsk (Luhansk oblast), entered one of the apartments, saw civilians in the building opposite and fired an anti-tank grenade launcher at the entrance of the residential building.

This allegedly led to two civilians being injured and property damage.

The Investigative Committee claims that Butkevych pleaded fully guilty and repented of what he had done.

In addition, the Russian state body notes that it identified Viktor Pokhoziy as the commander of an Azov battalion who "brutalized a local woman, hitting her on the torso and face with his feet and the butt of a machine gun" in Mariupol. The investigative body claims that Vladyslav Shelya fired five shots in order to intimidate civilians in Mariupol.

The "courts" sentenced Pokhoziy to 8.5 and Shelya to 18.5 years of imprisonment. They will serve their sentences in a high-security colony.

As IMI reported, in June 2022, human rights activist, journalist, and co-founder of ZMINA human rights center and NGO "Hromadske Radio" Maksym Butkevych has been taken prisoner by the Russians near ​​the captured Zolote and Hirske villages in Luhansk oblast. Russian propagandists announced the capture of Butkevych on June 24, publishing a video of his interrogation.

Maksym Butkevych is a Ukrainian human rights activist and journalist. Coordinator and co-founder of the "Without Borders" project, aimed at helping asylum seekers and Ukrainian immigrants and countering hate speech. Co-founder of ZMINA human rights center and Hromadske Radio. Previously, he worked for the BBC World Service and a number of all-Ukrainian TV channels, has been a guest lecturer at NaUKMA for several years, and was also a board member of Amnesty International's Ukrainian representative office and the community council under the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

In September 2022, the Ministry of Defense of Russia confirmed holding human rights activist and Ukrainian Armed Forces soldier Maksym Butkevych as prisoner. He is currently in the temporarily occupied territory of Luhansk oblast.

In November 2022, Maksym Butkevych won the "Stories of Injustice" award from the Czech organization People in Need. Maksym's father, Oleksandr, received the award for him in Prague.

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