Crimes against civilians: documenting the scale of abuse in Ukraine

Survivor and witness accounts, cross-checked with information from prosecutors, show how violence has been integral to the Russian campaign

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Five days into the war, a Russian platoon commander and his unit arrived in Motyzhyn, just off the main highway linking western Ukraine to Kyiv. They hid tanks and artillery among the trees, excavated foxholes and commandeered the nearest houses. One became the officers’ quarters, a second a base for jailing, torturing and murdering civilians.

The commander – Oleg Krikunov, 33 – was better known to his troops and victims by the nom de guerre Kaluga. The horrors he allegedly perpetrated and presided over for a month in one small village in Ukraine have been catalogued by officials investigating atrocities carried out by Moscow’s troops, who have designated him a high priority on their list of wanted soldiers.

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