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The protagonists of the book "The Scariest Days of My Life" met with the Prosecutor General Kostin

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

On September 14th, a presentation of the book "The Scariest Days of My Life" by The Reckoning project about the worst crimes of the first year of the war took place at the Mystetskyi Arsenal. The event provided a platform for an open discussion between the survivors mentioned in the book and direct witnesses of war crimes with investigators and representatives of law enforcement agencies, including the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

It was crucial for us that the protagonists of our reports - the victims from Yahidne, Mariupol, Kremenchuk, Kramatorsk, Kherson region, Chernihiv region, Donetsk, and other places - knew that their cases were not abandoned. Their testimonies have been received by the Prosecutor General's Office, allowing them the opportunity to communicate with prosecutors in person, and their perpetrators have been identified and received sentences.

The present victims shared painful memories and expressed their demand for justice and the prosecution of those responsible. For instance, Svitlana Baranova, a resident of Yahidne village in Chernihiv region, talked about the inhumane conditions of captivity in a school basement.

"The more we punish war criminals, the less likely it is that someone will try to invade our land again. All my prosecutors are ready to assist, listen, and do everything within our power to ensure that every war criminal is brought to justice," said Andriy Kosten, the Prosecutor General of Ukraine.

The event was also attended by Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine Victoria Litvinova and the Head of the Department for Combating Crimes Committed in Armed Conflict Conditions at the Office of the Prosecutor General, Yuriy Byelousov, as well as the co-authors of the book Angelina Karyakina, Oleg Baturin, Svitlana Oslavska, and Oleksiy Radinsky. The event was moderated by the Head of the Public Interest Journalism Laboratory, Nataliya Gumenyuk. Throughout the day, 20 witnesses and victims of war crimes who had specially come to Kyiv had the opportunity to individually communicate with representatives of the Prosecutor General's Office who take care of civilian victims and witnesses.

The event was organized in collaboration with the "Mystetskyi Arsenal."

Photos by Sergii Khandusenko

It contains reports and testimonies about the events of the first year of the full-scale Russian invasion, written by journalists from The Reckoning Project – an initiative of Ukrainian and international media professionals, analysts, and lawyers dedicated to documenting war crimes. It is a historical document of the first year of the major war. The voices of witnesses and survivors that resonate within it have already thwarted Russia's intentions to once again conceal its own wrongdoing and drown the memory of them in an ocean of lies.

The book of reports titled "The Scariest Days of My Life" tells the stories of the shelling of the station in Kramatorsk, the bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, attacks on a shopping center in Kremenchuk, and civilian objects in Chernihiv. In addition, the book gathers stories about the occupation of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and a hospital in Mykolaiv region, the forcible abduction of Ukrainian children to Russia, as well as the detention of an entire village in the basement of a school in Chernihiv region and the torture of civilians in Kherson and Kharkiv regions. The testimonies of witnesses and survivors featured in the book have already shattered Russia's attempts to conceal its crimes and contain clear evidence that can be used in legal proceedings.

The book was published in collaboration with "Choven" Publishing House with the support of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union.


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