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Russian colonel charged in absentia for ordering attacks on civilian infrastructure

by Dmytro Basmat July 5, 2024 2:48 AM 1 min read
An airstrike on the Hryhoriy Skovoroda National Literary Memorial Museum in Skovorodynivka, Kharkiv Oblast in May 2022 left one person seriously injured, and the museum destroyed. (Sergey Bobok/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) charged Russian Colonel Ivan Panchenko in absentia for ordering attacks on civilian infrastructure in eastern Ukraine, the SBU announced on July 4.

The SBU allege that Panchenko, the commander of the 159th Fighter Aviation Regiment of Russia's Western Military District, ordered air strikes on various targets along the eastern front.

Panchenko is alleged to have ordered the airstrike on the Hryhoriy Skovoroda National Literary Memorial Museum in Skovorodynivka, Kharkiv Oblast - an institution located nowhere near military targets. The museum was destroyed shortly after the start of Russia's full-scale invasion in May 2022.

Following the attack, President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the attack against the home of a man “who taught people what a true Christian attitude to life is and how a person can know himself," referring to Skovoroda, a widely-recognized poet in Ukraine.

According to the SBU, Russian forces used a Su-35 fighter jet to fire a Kh-35 missile to strike the museum. One employee of the museum was seriously injured in the attack.

Evidence compiled by the SBU suggests Panchenko continues to order airstrikes onto various regions of Ukraine.

Panchenko is charged under multiple articles of Ukraine's Criminal Code pertaining to "violations of the laws and customs of war."

Russian colonel charged in absentia for ordering attacks on civilian infrastructure
The SBU allege that Panchenko, the commander of the 159th Fighter Aviation Regiment of Russia’s Western Military District, ordered air strikes on various targets along the eastern front.

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