A BRUTAL gang known as the “Monsters of Motyzhyn” who are accused of forcing a mum to watch as they shot dead her son and torturing civilians have been officially identified.
Only three people survived their sadistic torture of civilians.
Russian troops occupying Motyzhyn, 30 miles west of Kyiv, tried to win the support of local officials and butchered them when they refused to collaborate, according to neighbours in April.
The mayor Olga Sukhenko, her husband Igor and son Alexander were reportedly kidnapped on March 23.
Their fate was unknown until their bodies were found in a shallow grave in April behind houses that Russian soldiers had used as makeshift barracks.
A fourth body was also found but has not yet been identified.
The Russian soldiers said to be responsible were named by Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova in a Facebook post as well as the Security Service of Ukraine.
Venediktova said: “Kyiv Oblast and Kyiv-Sviatoshyn district prosecutors and the Security Service of Ukraine have identified those responsible for the atrocities committed in Motyzhyn:
- Senior lieutenant Oleg Krikunov – platoon commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;
- Sergeant Chingis Gonchikov – branch commander, combat vehicle commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;
- Sergeant Alexandr Vanchikov – division commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;
- Sergeant Magomedmirza Suleymanov – combat vehicle commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;
- Senior lieutenant Vitaliy Dmitriev – platoon commander from the 37th Separate Guards Motorised Rifle Brigade of the 36th Combined Arms Army;
- Sergey Sazanov – Wagner mercenary;
- Sergey Sazonov – command vehicle driver from the Wagner Group;
- Aleksandr Stupnitskiy – reconnaissance and communications officer from the 1st Reconnaissance and Assault Platoon of the 1st Reconnaissance and Assault Company of the Wagner Group.
An investigation established that the Russian occupiers abducted Olha Sukhenko, her husband and their son in March this year.
According to the Prosecutor General, Olha and her family were tortured at a Russian base as Russian soldiers tried to find out information about the Armed Forces of Ukraine and territorial defence forces.
Venediktova said: “First, they shot at the son’s leg right before his mother’s eyes, then they killed him by shooting him in the head.
“The entire family died from multiple gunshot wounds.
“Consider the reason for another murder: one of their victims was shot in the head just because she was wearing black.
“Her father was taken prisoner and held in an outbuilding blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back, practically without water or food.”
The investigation also revealed that two volunteers who were trying to bring humanitarian aid to the residents of Motyzhyn were also captured.
After they were interrogated and tortured, they were taken to the forest nearby and shot – one of them managed to survive the ordeal.
The suspects are also said to have tortured to death two members of the Patriot civil society organisation; their bodies had multiple penetrating gunshot wounds.
The Russian soldiers tied another of their victims to a quad bike and forced him to run after the vehicle for almost a kilometre.
The same man was also interrogated, beaten up, and threatened with being killed.
He was forced to spend several days in a sewer pit.
Venediktova also said the suspects had also shelled and set fire to civilian houses and taken people’s mobile phones.
Earlier this month, the first Russian soldier to be accused of war crimes went on trial.
Sergeant Vadim Shyshimarin, 21, is accused of executing a 62-year-old Ukrainian man through an open car window in the northeastern village of Chupakhivka during the first week of the war.
Venediktova’s office said it is looking into more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects – including Russian soldiers and government officials.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun news desk?