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Update info:
27 Nov 2014
Igor Ananiev (m), Vitaly Kravtsov (m)
Gender: m
26 Dec 2014
Distribution date:
27 Nov 2014
UA No:

A separatist armed group fighting government forces in eastern Ukraine published a YouTube video on 30 October labelled “the first people’s court in Novorossia”. It shows a public gathering in Alchevsk, west of Luhansk, presided over by a separatist commander, voting by show of hands to put to death one alleged rapist and sent another one to fight against the pro-Kyiv forces.

On 25 October, members of the separatist Prizrak (Ghost) Battalion operating in the west of the Luhansk Region of Ukraine, invited inhabitants in the town of Alchevsk, in the west of Luhansk Region, which is under their control, to a “people’s court” to decide on the fate of two alleged rapists. The gathering was presided over by the battalion commander Alexey Mozgovoy, assisted by two other battalion members, one of them masked. At the gathering of some 300 people, armed members of the battalion brought in two “defendants”. One of them, 37-year-old Igor Ananiev, confessed at gunpoint after his “indictment” (a narrative of how he had lured a 15-year-old girl into his flat and raped her) was read out. After a few members of the public expressed their indignation about the rape, the battalion commander put to vote a motion on “the punishment”. Of the two options, “execution” by a firing squad, or sending him to fight on the frontline, the majority voted to send him to the frontline.

Then a statement was read out against the second “defendant”, Vitaly Kravtsov, detailing repeated incidents of him raping, abusing several women and forcibly administrating drugs to them. While the audience was considering how to vote, an armed man escorting Kravtsov asked him to tell those present what tattoo he had on the back of his head (which was a swastika). This revelation added to the indignation among those assembled, and over 270 voted that he should be put to death. The only voice in the audience pleading for mercy was that of his mother. According to an interview recorded subsequently by Alexey Mozgovoy, the “sentence” was not carried out immediately, but he gave no indication as to when it might be.



Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, which applies to all parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine including the separatist armed groups, prohibits the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court, affording all judicial guarantees. It also prohibits violence to life and person, in particular, cruel treatment and torture, and humiliating and degrading treatment.

In August, the media reported that the de facto authorities in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) in the neighbouring Donetsk Region, also under the control of separatist armed groups, had introduced a document that they referred to as a criminal code and that included provisions for imposing the death penalty for the “gravest crimes.” The “criminal code” was passed on 17 August in the first session of the DNR’s so-called Presidium of the Council of Ministers. The same session also saw approval given to the establishment of military “courts” in the territories under the DNR’s de facto control.

According to media reports the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic (LNR) had also previously introduced the death penalty. Specifically it was reported that on 26 September, members of the LNR “parliament” introduced a new law about protecting Christian traditions. Under this “law”, intercourse between citizens of the same sex shall be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or correctional labour for a term of two to four years. The same actions committed with the use of physical force, threats, or against a minor, or by using the dependent positions of the victim, shall be punished with imprisonment up to eight years or the death penalty, the “law” says.

Name: Igor Ananiev (m), Vitaly Kravtsov (m)

Gender m/f: m

UA: 287/14 Index: EUR 50/044/2014 Issue Date: 14 November 2014

Take action

Please write immediately in Ukrainian, Russian, English or your own language:

  • Urge the Prizrak Battalion and other armed groups that are de facto in control of the Luhansk and Donetsk Regions of Ukraine to abstain from any further proceedings against those accused of crimes, and in particular, that they not to carry out any execution-style killings of individuals they are holding captive;
  • Call on them to ensure that any captives are treated humanely and not subjected to cruel treatment or torture or other violence;
  • Reminding them of their obligation to comply at all times with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and in particular that sentencing or executing people without a judgment of a regularly constituted court affording all fair trial guarantees is a war crime.

Commander of Prizrak Battalion
Alexey Mozgovoy
Alchevsk, Ukraine
Kirova St.15, Hotel Yubileynaya
Email: informotryad@mail.ru
Salutation: Dear Commander

Head of LNR
Igor Plotnitskiy
Geroyev Velikoy Otechestvennoy Voyny 3
Luhansk, Ukraine
Email: lnr_glava@mail.ru, info@loga.gov.ua
Salution: Dear Mr Plotnitskiy

Head of DNR
Alexander Zakharchenko
Boulevard Pushkina 34
District “Voroshilovskiy”
Donetsk, Ukraine
Email: dnrhotline@yandex.rupressmid@bk.ru
Salution: Dear Mr Zakharchenko

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