Saturday, April 23, 2016

RUSSIAN JUSTICE

Russian justice is an oxymoron on scale with Russian truth and Russian news.  It is arbitrary, fictional and serves the Kremlin’s purpose only. Any Ukrainian falling into Russian hands who is viewed as having potential to politically damage Ukraine is in great danger.

The highest profile is Nadiya Savchenko, who has been in Russian prisons since June 2014 and has been sentenced as of March 2016 to 22 years in prison ostensibly for murder and illegally crossing into Russia.  She is a Lieutenant in the Ukrainian Army, Iraqi war veteran and Mi-24 attack helicopter pilot.  She was fighting as an infantryman with the Aidar Battalion against the Russian proxies in Donbas when she was captured and showed up three weeks later in a Russian jail.

She was accused of acting as an artillery spotter and deliberately calling fire on the journalists Voloshin and Kornelyuk out of hatred for Russians.  Just exactly whose fire killed them and the circumstances under which they were in that location might be questioned.  The Russian proxies have been accused of deliberately putting expendable journalists into dangerous positions so their deaths can be blamed on the Ukrainian ATO. This included a BBC crew that were filming at Donetsk Airport after it was captured by the Russian proxies when suddenly their handler delegation disappeared and mortar fire started dropping around them, from Russian controlled territory.  They got out just in time

The fact that Savchenko’s mobile phone calls prove she was nowhere near enough to the place to call fire on it AND that she had been captured an hour previous to the shelling cut no ice with the judge.  The man who said he captured her, “Ilim” (Andrei Tikhonov), a soldier for “Lugansk People’s Republic” admitted in a recent interview with Meduza, that he captured her before noon on June 17th.  However, he was not called to the witness stand or even interviewed by the investigators.

Then there is 73-year-old Yury Soloshenko, arrested in Moscow and sentenced to six years in a maximum security prison for spying.  He is suffering from a severe heart condition and has just been diagnosed with cancer but is in a regular prison cell and unlikely to see his kids or grandchildren again.

Soloshenko is the retired director of the long-bankrupt Poltava-based Znamya factory which once specialized in high-frequency electro vacuum lamps used in anti-aircraft warfare.  The factory had always depended for its survival on orders from Russia, meaning that there was nothing secret between the two countries, with it all a single system.  The FSB, however, claimed and a Russian court accepted that Soloshenko had been in August 2014 in Moscow “when trying to illegally purchase secret components for S-300 surface to air missile systems which were supposed to reinstate Ukraine’s air defense system.

He was not allowed the lawyer of his choice.  The Russian state forced a lawyer on him who persuaded him that if he pleaded guilty he would be returned to Ukraine.

Mykola Karpyuk and Stanislav Klykh were arrested in Russia in March and August 2014 under murky circumstances.  They were held incommunicado for long periods, with Klykh only able to see a lawyer of his choice after 10 months in detention, and Karpyuk after almost a year and a half.

According to Russia’s investigation, at the beginning of 1990 in Ukraine a radical right wing “UNA-UNSO” militant nationalist organization, one of the goals and objectives of which was opposition to the Russian authorities in any form and destroying Russian nationality”.

They claim that in the period from December 1994 to January 1995 Karpyuk and Klykh together with other members of the gang repeatedly participated in combat clashes with soldiers of the Armed Forces in the territory of the Presidential Palace, “Mynutka” area and railway station of Groznyi town, during which at least 30 soldiers were killed and at least 13 were injured.

They claim that in the period from December 1994 to January 1995 Karpyuk and Klykh together with other members of the gang repeatedly participated in combat clashes with soldiers of the Armed Forces in the territory of the Presidential Palace, “Mynutka” area and railway station of Groznyi town, during which at least 30 soldiers were killed and at least 13 were injured.

The two men also confessed that they committed these terrible ‘crimes’ together with Ukraine’s ex-Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk and a number of other Ukrainian politicians.  All of this nonsense was publicly repeated as fact by the head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin.  

Both men retracted their so-called ‘confessions’ as soon as they had contact with a lawyer, and both have given detailed accounts of the torture they say was inflicted in order to obtain the testimony.

Klykh was in L’viv writing university exams at the time, while Karpyuk was caring for his dying mother.  Neither have ever been to Chechnya. Of the 30 men they are supposed to have killed, 18 were killed in a place other than where the crime supposedly took place and 11 did not die of gunshot wounds.

However, the prosecution does not give up easily.  Hired thugs terrorized defense witnesses to keep them from testifying, documentary evidence is refused to be admitted, including Memorial Human Rights Centre analysis of the 30 Russians allegedly killed by the defendants.  Confessions to fictitious heinous crimes are read out in court in spite of the fact that the men are not charged with them. Allegations regarding torture were not allowed, though the men still bear the scars.

Klykh’s extremely disturbed behaviour during court hearings before he was finally removed would only confirm his account of having been given psychotropic drugs over a long period.  Despite application for an independent psychiatric examination, Russian medical personnel found nothing wrong with Klykh, and on April 4, criminal proceedings were initiated against him for allegedly ‘insulting’ the prosecutor.

One of their lawyers has also been charged with insulting the judge.

Serhiy Lytvynov, a 33-year-old village cowherd from Luhansk Oblast near the Russian border, has been convicted and sentenced to 8 ½ years in a maximum security prison, for an imaginary crime after charges of imaginary war crimes were forced to be withdrawn.

He had gone to a Russian hospital across the border to deal with an abscessed tooth.  He was seized and savagely tortured until he confessed to rape and murder of 39 civilians including old women and young girls.  This was given wide coverage on Russian TV as “proof” of the Ukrainian genocide against Russian-speakers in Donbas.

Once he got a lawyer he retracted his “confession” as given under torture. This would not have stopped the judge but the lawyer also proved that the alleged victims did not exist and that the addresses given for them were also fictitious.

Since Lytvynov had already been in jail for a year, they now charged him with armed robbery of a Russian national, Alexander Lysenko, who reported this armed robbery one day after the war crimes charges were thrown out and over a year after it allegedly happened.  

Lytvynov and two unidentified others supposedly burst into the house where Lysenko was staying, with a machine gun.  They beat him up and stole his two cars, a Lada and an Opel.  There is no record that Lysenko legally entered Ukraine, nor is there any record that he owned the two cars in question.  In fact the motor registration bureau said he did not and that the Lada registration had been cancelled many years ago and reissued to a Zhigulu.

Lytvynov is no political prisoner in any normal sense of the word and would scarcely be able to explain what is happening in the country.  He can, however, and has vividly described the torture he was subjected to.  He is equally adamant that he had never set eyes on Lysenko or set foot in the place where this ‘robbery’ is alleged to have taken place.

This post does not even begin to cover the events in Crimea and the war against the Tatars, nor those arrested and convicted of imaginary charges such as Crimean activists Oleg Sentsov, Alexander Kolchenko, Oleksiy Chyrniy, Gennadiy Afanasyev).


For a more complete list of Ukrainian political prisoners see Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: Ukrainians Illegally Detained in Russia and in the occupied Crimea

4 comments:

  1. this makes me so angry..the Russians were know for their revolutions and I don't understand why they don't again..the army could turn and help arm the people..or do I not know jackshit about this..but judas priest..how much are they and other countries they are trying to take back supposed to take? sigh*

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    1. Russian Justice Part 2 will deal with the issue of how it is applied to the population. Stalinist Russia is making a comeback

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  2. Living in Canada it's so easy to forget how distorted 'justice' is elsewhere. Just the thought of it makes me shudder.

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    1. Yes, we get spoiled. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo kind of took the West away from the high ground, unfortunately.

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