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The trial against collaborator Motuzenko, who ordered the capture of Tavriysk Mayor Mykola Rizak and journalist Oleh Baturin, has begun

Oleh Baturin. Photo: Maksym Savchenko


On January 29, the Suvorovsky District Court of Odessa interrogated the victims in the case of captivity and torture, researcher of The Reckoning Project Oleh Baturin, and Mykola Rizak, the mayor of Tavriysk. The third victim, the secretary of the Novokakhovka City Council Dmytro Vasilyev, died from the consequences of torture after being released from one and a half months of captivity.


The accused collaborator Motuzenko in March and April 2022 issued orders to detain Baturin, Rizak, and Vasilyev. He is charged with violating the laws and customs of war (from 8 to 12 years of imprisonment). Another accused in the case is collaborator Volodymyr Leontyev.


"I don't expect all this to be quick. But I know that my abduction was not arranged only by those two people. I expect that in the future I will hear answers to many other questions. These two people were not the only culprits. It happened that they are most identified today. Others involved in my abduction are unknown to me. I hope that they will also be punished," Baturin told Suspilne.


Oleh Baturin is an investigative journalist from Kakhovka, Kherson region. He was the chief editor of the newspaper "Novy Den". On March 12, 2022, Russian military forces kidnapped him in Kakhovka, held him captive for eight days. Since then, human rights violations in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine and the fight against corruption have become the focus of his journalistic investigations.


In addition to working as a documentarian for The Reckoning Project, he also collaborates with the Center for Investigative Journalism.

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