Ukraine identifies Russian struggle crimes suspect from CNN report

Now, Ukrainian prosecutors say they’ve knowledgeable Russia that their pre-trial investigation has zeroed in one of many Russian perpetrators they consider is accountable.

The Bucha Prosecutors’ Workplace within the Kyiv area says CNN’s unique reporting was instrumental in serving to establish the Russian soldier.

Prosecutors say the suspect is Nikolay Sergeevich Sokovikov, including that Russia was knowledgeable of his costs of “violation of the legal guidelines and customs of struggle” and “intentional homicide.”

CNN has requested remark from Russia’s protection ministry however has not had a response. CNN additionally requested the Russian MOD for response to our authentic report in Might and by no means acquired a reply.

Ukrainian prosecutors have identified the suspect as Nikolay Sergeevich Sokovikov.

Civilians shot within the again

In newly obtained footage of the incident obtained by CNN this week, two troopers can clearly be seen capturing at one thing subsequent to a enterprise they’ve simply overtaken. Different movies of the incident reveal their goal was two unarmed civilians, shot within the again instantly following what seems to be a relaxed dialog with the troopers.

The incident occurred in March outdoors a car dealership in a village close to Kyiv, as Russian forces tried to take the Ukrainian capital within the early days of the invasion.

Sokovikov, together with one other unidentified serviceman, inflicted at the least 12 gunshot wounds on the civilians, in line with Ukrainian prosecutors. They had been a part of a gaggle of troopers who then ransacked the enterprise and loaded stolen items right into a automobile marked “Tank Particular Forces RUS,” prosecutors mentioned in a press release.

CNN beforehand recognized the victims. One was the proprietor of the looted dealership, whose household doesn’t need to be named. The opposite was Leonid Oleksiyovych Plyats, a 68-year-old grandfather who labored as a guard there.

Surveillance camera footage obtained by CNN shows the suspect inside the dealership, which the group of Russian soldiers looted.

Along with the killing, surveillance video exhibits extra unprofessional habits by the group of 5 troopers, who’re seen on digicam ingesting and toasting one another. The group was recognized as members of the invading power by their uniforms, evaluation of who managed what space on the time and witness statements. The footage has been verified by CNN.

Prosecutors is not going to reveal precisely how they recognized this explicit soldier. However CNN has beforehand reported on one a part of the method being utilized by Ukrainian authorities — facial recognition expertise.

Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation uploads pictures of suspects into software program that scrubs social media web sites on the lookout for matching images. As soon as investigators have a match, they corroborate it with family and friends on the suspects’ social media.

The identification of this newest suspect for struggle crimes was months within the making, in line with prosecutors. Whereas the pre-trial investigation is ongoing, it’s at the least one step towards justice for the victims’ households.

CNN’s Vasco Cotovio and Oleksandra Titorova contributed to this report.

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