Every Crime has a Face, Says Ukrainian Journalist Hunting War Criminals

Just before the Russian invasion, Ukrainian journalist Dmitry Replyanchuk put in his days unearthing corruption, often amongst judges and regulation enforcement.

Now the Kyiv-based journalist who is effective for the impartial media web-site Slidstvo.Facts uses his investigative reporting abilities to expose war crimes and atrocities.

Every single criminal offense has a experience, Replyanchuk instructed VOA.

“War criminals who executed civilians in Bucha, pilots who dropped bombs on Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities, artillerymen who shelled Kharkiv: those are precise individuals,” he stated. “And my occupation is to reveal these folks.”

With the initially Russian soldier standing trial for war crimes this 7 days, and journalists interviewing inhabitants of towns besieged or occupied for months, Ukraine’s media has performed an important position in documenting and amassing evidence.

In recognition of their efforts, the U.S. Pulitzer board awarded a distinctive citation in May well to Ukrainian journalists for their “courage, stamina, and commitment to truthful reporting” in masking the war.

For the country’s journalists, they have a single goal: Ensuring the earth is aware the names of all people included in atrocities in Ukraine.

Applying open source intelligence or OSINT strategies, searching satellite pictures and social media, and interviewing witnesses, journalists have been ready to establish particular troopers who killed and tortured civilians in Bucha, and shed light on what is occurring in Mariupol.

Every Crime has a Face, Says Ukrainian Journalist Hunting War Criminals

Dmitry Replyanchuk of investigative news outlet Slidstvo.Information is viewed in this undated screenshot.

Replyanchuk, whose outlet is section of the Structured Crime and Corruption Reporting Community takes advantage of open knowledge to examine.

Alongside one another with his colleagues, the journalist analyzes lists of Russian units revealed by Ukrainian intelligence and queries Russian social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki for armed service profiles.

Some of the soldiers, primarily all those who are young, are also energetic on TikTok. In some situations, claimed Replyanchuk, troopers brag of torturing civilians.

“There’s no have to have of interrogating anyone. They publish all those items them selves. They boast of this in their social media,” reported Replyanchuk.

Just after analyzing hundreds of such profiles, he came to a different conclusion.

“Based on what I see, the large the greater part of Russians support the war in opposition to Ukraine and call to proceed it. This is certainly not only Putin’s war from Ukraine, this is the war of Russia and the Russian folks,” he explained.

Polls by the unbiased Russia-based mostly Leveda Center display backing amid Russians for their troops in Ukraine, but that aid is dropping. Most of individuals polled imagine the U.S and NATO are to blame for civilian casualties.

Valeria Yehoshyna, a journalist at Skhemy—or Schemes, an investigative information job run by Radio Cost-free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)—says that considering the fact that the commencing of the invasion, she has mastered new expertise for doing the job with knowledge.

RFE/RL and VOA are both equally impartial networks less than the Congress-funded U.S. Company for Global Media.

Valeria Yehoshyna, a journalist at Skhemy or Schemes, is seen in this undated screenshot.

Valeria Yehoshyna, a journalist at Skhemy or Techniques, is witnessed in this undated screenshot.

“We bought obtain to products and services that aid with satellite imagery. This is a fairly new field for us, but I believe that we are performing quite correctly,” Yehoshyna claimed. “For occasion, we are capable to clearly show the redeployment of Russian devices.”

The imagery also assisted her workforce uncover mass graves in the villages of Mangush and Vynohradne close to Mariupol.

The grave in Mangush was 300 meters (about 980 feet) extensive, states Yegoshyna. The one in Bucha was 14 meters (pretty much 46 feet) extended and contained 70 bodies.

But the most startling discovery was an intercepted telephone conversation involving two Russians. The recording, a connect with among a lady and a person, was introduced by the Security Company of Ukraine.

In it, a girl is read telling her husband or wife in Russian that he can rape Ukrainian gals as lengthy as he doesn’t inform her the particulars and utilizes contraceptives.

The recording stunned Yehoshyna.

“The female on that audio not only authorized her husband to rape Ukrainian ladies, but she also appeared to inspire him to do so,” she mentioned.

Alongside one another with her colleagues, Yehoshyna traced the folks on the call.

“From our sources in regulation enforcement, we were being in a position to get two Russian phone numbers who participated in that dialogue,” Yehoshyna reported. “Then with the enable of our colleagues from the Russian support of Radio Free Europe, we identified the accounts on the Russian social community Vkontakte to which individuals numbers had been connected. So we observed their pages, their kinfolk, their friends. Additionally, we termed them, and the voices on the audio also matched fully.”

Pinpointing users of the Russian navy also assists formal investigations, reported Yehoshyna. Right before the war, Ukrainian law enforcement ended up from time to time a issue of journalists’ investigations. Currently, they discover strategies to collaborate.

The Prosecutor General’s Workplace of Ukraine has named suspects believed to have committed crimes in Bucha. Facts gathered by the Slidstvo.Facts team was employed to recognize one particular of them.

“We come across victims and witnesses, and we do the job with them to set up the id and information of certain Russian occupiers who possibly killed or ended up involved in torturing or in having civilians hostage,” stated Replyanchuk.

Jointly with his colleagues, he managed to detect a variety of Russian servicemen, amassing proof like a puzzle, based mostly on testimonies of witnesses.

“Someone remembers the title. Somebody remembers the navy rank, anyone remembers a little something else,” Replyanchuk stated.

From there the team goes to do the job, recording the evidence and seeking open up information and social media to identify the people.

For Yehoshyna and lots of journalists in Ukraine, this war is unique from other individuals.

“In this war, we can seize almost every little thing that occurs,” Yehoshyna said.

“Satellite imagery, social media, intercepted phone calls, all of this can help us. Even people in the briefly occupied metropolitan areas choose movies and photos and then publish them. There has never ever been a war with so considerably [digital] evidence, I’m absolutely sure.”

Investigative journalists hope that the testimonies and get the job done will provide two purposes: Proof for an global tribunal and to act as a report, so that no one can falsify history.