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Top investigative stories
The New York Times identifies Russian soldiers involved in Bucha massacre
The New York Times found that Russian paratroopers from the 234th Air Assault Regiment, led by Lt. Col. Artyom Gorodilov, based in Pskov, systematically killed civilians in Bucha during the Russian occupation of the city this spring. Russian troops murdered 458 civilians in Bucha, according to Ukrainian authorities.
The New York Times used videos from street cameras, residents’ phones, and drone footage to retrace Russian forces' movements through the center of Bucha.
Having pieced together testimonies of the witnesses, intercepted radio chatter, Russian military records, and insignia on vehicles and uniforms, journalists identified Russian soldiers that appear to be responsible for the murders.
The newspaper also found that Russian soldiers used their victims' phones to call home.
See the full story here.
Nashi Groshi: Company linked to Dnipropetrovsk Oblast governor receives road repair contract, again
On Dec. 19, Dnipro Regional State Administration signed a road maintenance contract worth Hr 16.5 million ($445,000) with Budinvest Engineering, procurement watchdog Nashi Groshi reported.
Until recently, the company was partly owned by Yana Khlanta, a fitness trainer and allegedly a close associate of the region’s governor, Valentyn Reznichenko.
In November, journalists of the Ukrainska Pravda news outlet and Schemes, an investigative project of RFE/RL, ran investigations that disclosed Khlanta’s close relationship with Reznichenko and her ownership of the company that’s been getting enormous state contracts in the region.
Khlanta was soon removed from official company ownership. The company kept receiving contracts from the regional administration and state road construction agency.
Although there had been no public reaction from authorities to the story, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU) launched an investigation into alleged corruption and abuse of power. According to Ukrainska Pravda, NABU conducted searches in places linked to potential suspects on Dec. 26.
Washington launches investigation into how US tech showed up in Iranian drones used against Ukraine
U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has established a task force to investigate how Western technology, including U.S. microelectronics, ended up in Iranian-made kamikaze drones that Russia uses to attack Ukraine, CNN reported.
The Dallas-based technology company Texas Instruments is one of the companies in question. Texas Instruments-made components were found in some Iranian drones.
On Nov. 4, Schemes (RFE/RL) wrote that the Iranian Mohajer-6 drone uses processors, converters and microcircuits allegedly produced by Texas Instruments, among other Western technologies.
On Nov. 16, Ukraine-based nonprofit StateWatch and Ukrainian civil society group Independent Anti-Corruption Commission (NAKO) published an investigation saying that Iranian-made Shahed drones consist almost entirely of foreign-made parts, including that of Texas Instruments.
Both Schemes and StateWatch found dozens of EU and U.S. companies whose parts have been used to manufacture Iranian kamikaze drones.
Law enforcement issues warrant for wife of Russian soldier who told him to rape Ukrainian women
Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) placed Olga Bykovskaya, a Russian woman who allegedly told her soldier husband to rape Ukrainian women, on the wanted list in Ukraine and internationally.
The couple’s phone call was intercepted and released by Ukrainian authorities in the spring, without identifying those speaking. In April, Schemes (RFE/RL) identified the couple as Olga Bykovskaya and Roman Bykovsky. The SBU didn’t publicly credit the journalists, saying that the couple was identified by authorities.
According to SBU, Bykovska is charged with committing a war crime. If proven guilty, she faces up to 12 years in jail.