Ukraine lays charges against former LPR leader Plotnitsky

On August 13, the judge read out the charges on the case of the downed IL-76 aircraft against the ex-head of the LPR, Igor Plotnitsky and two leaders of the armed formations, Alexander Gureyev and Nikolai Patrushevm, as stated on Facebook by the lawyer of the families of killed paratroopers and crew members of IL-76, Vitaly Pogosyan.

"Today, an indictment on Plotnitsky, Patrushev and Gureyev has been announced at the Krasnohvardiisky district Court in Dnipro,” he wrote. The lawyer added that at the next hearing on September 13, "civil proceedings of victims will be presented and, probably, the hearings will begin,”

Pogosyan recalled that this case was supposed to be considered one year ago at the Babushkinskyi District Court of Dnipro. "Judges of the Babushkinskyi District Court recused themselves without good reason then, but they work in the court system to this day. Complaints to the high judicial council were sent but they are in no rush to look into the work ethics of these judges,” he wrote.

The lawyer added that relatives of the killed soldiers can only attend the hearings by invitation because the courtroom cannot accommodate all of them at once.

On June 14, 2014, militants shot down an IL-76 MD aircraft over the Luhansk region using a man portable air defense system. There were 40 servicemen of the 25th separate paratrooper brigade and 9 crew members on board. All of them were killed.

On December 17, 2015, the trial in the case of the 49 servicemen’s deaths started in the Pavlograd district Court of Dnipro. One person, Major General Viktor Nazarov who was chief of Staff at the moment of the tragedy, was tried. He was charged with negligence in combat situations that led to severe consequences, according to Section 3 of Article 425 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

On March 27, 2017, the Court Sentenced Nazarov to seven years in prison but the General lodged an appeal.

On January 30, 2017, the Prosecutor’s office sent the case against Plotnitsky and two militant leaders to Court. On September 13, judges of the Babushkinskyi District Court of Dnipro recused themselves in the trial in absentia of the leaders of the Donetsk and Luhansk Regions for that catastrophe.

In June, the court satisfied 39 claims totaling 19.5 million hryvnia ($730,000) against the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine from the relatives of servicemen killed in June 2014.

  Ukraine, LPR, Igor Plotnitsky, Il-76