A former Chechen commander accused of war crimes is in charge of Russia’s humanitarian aid for the earthquake in Turkey

Daniil Martynov (Video Capture/RT)

A former Chechen commander who is wanted by Ukraine as alleged war criminal Because of his actions in the Russian invasion, he is now in charge of directing Moscow’s humanitarian assistance to Turkey after Monday’s catastrophic earthquake.

Danil Martynovadviser to the head of the Ministry of Emergency Situations, has been offering statements as director of the aid offered by the Kremlin to Ankara.

As reported CNNMartynov visited various locations in Ukraine last year in the first weeks of the Russian invasion and is believed to be close to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

It was even used by Russian propaganda offering stories about alleged abuses, but coming from the Ukrainian side, and defending the “military operation” launched by Vladimir Putin.

Now, far from being pushed aside, he gives interviews to the media from the area devastated by the earthquake, which has left more than 17,000 dead.

Half a year ago, the security services of Ukraine (SBU) denounced Martynov for war crimes committed in the town of Borodianka, north of kyiv. As they pointed out, there he performed the role of Deputy Chief of the Troops of the National Guard of the Republic of Chechnya and said that he was “responsible for the formation of Kadyrov’s personal security detachment.”

War crimes investigators in Borodianka, where Martynov was mobilized (Reuters)
War crimes investigators in Borodianka, where Martynov was mobilized (Reuters) (ZOHRA BENSEMRA /)

The complaint indicates that led the occupation of the Borodianka psychiatric hospital in March and under his orders “almost 500 people were taken hostage (patients, staff and local residents), including more than a hundred bedridden patients”. Martynov was charged with “violation of the laws and customs of war, and abuse of prisoners of war or civilians.”

The director of the psychiatric hospital, Maryna Hanitska, revealed to the media jellyfish that a colonel who introduced himself as Martynov told him that he would survive if he “behaved well”. Then, freeing her from her, he asked her to record a video of her thanking her “for the fact that she is alive.”

But by August, when Ukraine filed the complaint, the Chechen leader said he no longer worked for them, but for the Emergency Situations Ministry. However, several videos on his Telegram profile had shown him in the previous months in the occupied areas of Ukraine.

The US Treasury Department had already sanctioned Martynov in 2020 for “serious human rights abuses in Russia.”

Calls for a formula to try Russian leaders are growing, but for now Russian officials are far from facing a court. The International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, cannot do so under current regulations.

The ICC is investigating allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, but rules laid down in 2018 say it can’t try Russia because it’s not a member.

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