Journalists track down Russian military personnel linked to atrocities in Kyiv Oblast

15 August, 05:54 PM
Photo of Russian military personnel suspected of being involved in crimes in Andriyivka, Kyiv Oblast. (Photo:Vazhnyye Istorii)

Photo of Russian military personnel suspected of being involved in crimes in Andriyivka, Kyiv Oblast. (Photo:Vazhnyye Istorii)

A Russian soldier has admitted to murdering a Ukrainian civilian and committing other crimes, including looting, along with fellow soldiers, a Russian investigative journalism team has said.

Journalists from the Russian investigation website Vazhnyye Istorii (Important Stories) on Aug. 15 published the names of four Russian soldiers suspected of atrocities. They are from Russia's 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade, an infantry unit that occupied part of Kyiv Oblast at the beginning of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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The alleged crimes were committed by the soldiers in the village of Andriyivka in Kyiv Oblast from late February to early April.

The soldiers were identified thanks to a mobile phone they had stolen from one of the villagers and with which they had taken photos. In them, the four Russian servicemen posed with weapons, smoking pipes and wearing stolen medals on their chests.

According to the journalists, the soldiers are Daniil Frolkin, Dmitry Danilov, Ruslan Glotov, and Ivan Shepelenko.

Residents of Andriyivka recognized the invaders, whom they said looted their houses and killed their fellow villagers.

Residents say that after entering the village, the Russian military went from house to house, taking away personal belongings, food, vehicles, and household appliances.

They also killed villagers. Some men were taken captive by the invaders, and were later found shot dead, with their hands tied.

Russian servicemen Danilov and Frolkin agreed to talk to journalists. During a second conversation with the journalists, the latter confessed he had shot a civilian in Andriyivka.

Danilov said that he and his comrades-in-arms had been sent to Belarus back in January allegedly for “training,” but later many of them guessed that they were being prepared to be sent into Ukraine.

“They said we would go for intimidation, for three days,” he said.

“(They said) a special operation has kicked off, Luhansk and Donetsk will now be recognized as people’s republics, they will join Russia, and you will go from there. But we’re getting out of there.”

Danilov said that the military had had to steal from the villagers, as they were provided with food for only three days. He claims that he was not involved in the murders of civilians in Andriyivka and does not know anything about the civilians shot there.

Another invader, Daniil Frolkin, said he had learned about being sent to war against Ukraine on Feb. 23.

When asked about robbery and looting, he said that the military had taken only“some bullshit” from houses: a bottle of wine or beer, a barbecue, groceries. Frolkin also spoke about looting and tons of household appliances that had been taken to Belarus in trucks.

In the first conversation with journalists, Frolkin claimed that he had not killed any of the local residents. However, a couple of hours after the first conversation, he suggested that journalists call him via a messenger and record the call.

“I, a serviceman of military unit 51460, guards corporal, Frolkin Daniil Andreevich, confess to all the crimes I committed in Andriyivka, shooting civilians, robbing civilians, seizing their mobile phones and the fact that our command despises our soldiers, all the infantry fighting on the forefront, on the front line,” the invader said during the subsequent call.

He said that in March, the commanders had asked him and several other private soldiers to accompany them on a search of the houses of three residents of Andriyivka. He admitted that he had shot one of them.

“The lieutenant colonel who was with us, Aleksandr Prokurat, took the money for himself, and gave the rest, such as documents and telephones, to us and said: ‘Shoot them.’ That’s it, I went and shot (one of them),” Frolkin said.

“Judging by the details mentioned by Frolkin, this incident matches up with the murders of Vadym Haniuk, Vitaliy Kibukevych and Ruslan Yaremchuk on March 12,” the journalists said.

“Daniil probably shot Ruslan Yaremchuk. He does not recognize him from photographs, but assumes that he may have forgotten many things due to shock. Later, Daniil showed a photo of Yaremchuk’s body to his comrade-in-arms, who was also present during the searches, and he confirmed that Frolkin shot this particular person.”

Frolkin also said that he did not understand with whom he was fighting, and why.

The Main Intelligence Directorate at Ukraine’s Defense Ministry reported that Russian soldiers from the 64th Motorized Rifle Brigade had committed mass murders and torture of the civilian population in the town of Bucha in Kyiv Oblast.

NV journalist Kristina Berdynskykh in late April visited Andriyivka and the neighboring village of Vabla and talked with local residents.

Andriyivka is one of the settlements most affected by Russian shelling. Thirteen people were killed there during the occupation.

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