Ukrainian officer who beat soldier on video may face 12 years in prison – SBI

13 March, 02:26 PM
A video of a conscript being beaten by his commander appeared on the Internet (

A video of a conscript being beaten by his commander appeared on the Internet (

A case of a beating of a soldier by an officer at a military unit in Zhytomyr Oblast, which was caught on video, is being probed, the State Bureau of Investigation announced on Telegram on March 13.

The agency noted that on March 11 a video of a conscript being beaten by his commander appeared on the Internet. During an investigation, it was confirmed that the incident occurred at a military unit in Zhytomyr Oblast on the same day, in the afternoon.

"According to the junior lieutenant's explanation, he conducted a ‘didactic conversation’ with punches and kicks because the soldier was allegedly intoxicated," the SBI said.

Video of day

The bureau noted that the soldier's life and health are currently not in danger, and the severity of his injuries is being established.

Preliminary classification of the offense is abuse of power or official authority by a military officer committed under martial law (Part 5 of Article 426-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).

The sanction of the article provides for punishment in the form of imprisonment for a term of eight to 12 years. The Zhytomyr Specialized Military and Defense Prosecutor's Office is providing procedural supervision.

The video allegedly showed the commander of the training center, Lieutenant Viktor Vitusevych, kicking the enlisted soldier.

Vitusevych himself later recorded a video with an apology, hinting that he had punished the soldier for drinking.

"I was wrong and I’m ready to take the punishment I deserve, but I want to say that alcohol is unacceptable in the army — it’s deadly at the front, a risk to the life of the entire unit, wherever it is — in training or in the area of combat operations," he said.

“I will be held accountable for my actions.”

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