It can be irony of the fate, but the author of the article didn’t find a better beginning of the article about the Tornado case than quotation of their chief prosecutor Anatoliy Matios. The Chief Military Prosecutor said in one of his latest interviews: "The dog that is beaten by its master and members of his family will never protect the family house, not saying about barking when there are burglars". He talked about the General Prosecutor's Office, the Security Service and the police as "dogs", that (from my own experience I can say in Donetsk) instead of guarding "the family house" dressed "St. George" ribbons and licked the hands of a neighbour waiting for greasy bone. I’ll use this phrase for another defender- volunteer battalions that actually stopped the enemy, but are "beaten" by ungrateful and short-sighted "master" today...
I’ll say at the very beginning: this story is not about guilt or innocence "of Tornado. The author, like everyone else, has heard about looting, basements and other military "smoke", which, as is well known, "doesn’t exist without fire". So, I am not going to judge. This article is about Tornado case, real and virtual - the analysis of what is "described" and what the reality is.
The fact is that after studying nearly two dozen videos about Tornado on Youtube and then another materials of the indictment - it seems that there are two Tornado cases in the court, and there were two Tornado battalions in the ATO. And it is not "good" and "bad" (these definitions hardly fit in relation to war, where "good" and "bad" are killing), but the real and virtual – artificially created by someone or something...
Tornado special forces (as part of troops) was presented in October 2014 in Zaporozhye. The main task of the special unit was publicly stated as follows: "opposition to separatism in eastern Ukraine, the action of "intelligence-sabotage nature". You can get a glimpse of the Tornado activity from a fresh interview with the commander Ruslan Onishchenko about the shooting at patrol police by his former employee Alexander Pugachev in Dnepr.
"Pugachev was twice wounded, he fought in Shakhtersk, Gorlovka, Slavyansk, Torez, Snezhnoye. He spied, cut the throats of 10-15 militants at checkpoints, conducted a special operation on the instructions of the higher ranks in the security agencies," - said Onishchenko. You should agree that cutting the throats of "peaceful" militants without trial ... - We've got no war ...
"My gunsmith steals the arms registry and runs away with this ... What was I supposed to do? Are they deserters? They are police officers! I list them (the wanted list - auth.), I am searching for them. What should I do in the wartime? - Onishchenko asked the STB journalist. - Wartime or the one we are having now? - says the girl...
When hearing the word “tornado”, any Ukrainian (or "friendly" Russian) has a persistent associative array: rapists, pedophiles, perverts, murderers, criminals, looters ... And since the Tornado is called "dobrobat", although it is, in fact, - Interior Ministry special unit, the associative image is automatically transferred to all the volunteer battalions. Those who in our "NON-wartime" killed and stopped enemy in the boilers. Moreover, the image is automatically transferred to all the "Donetsk", and those who fought for Ukraine and those who fled from the war and became forced migrant. This stigmatization concerns not only volunteers (Tornado consists mostly of Donbass natives), but also their fellow countrymen...
This image has been created thanks to a sustained and systematic work of the Military Prosecutor's Office, headed by the former employee of the Yanukovych’s administration Anatoliy Matios and two television stations that are, shall we say, under the influence of the former head of Yanukovych's administration (Matios’s chief) Sergei Lyovochkin and another ex-head of the administration of another ex-president - Viktor Medvedchuk – kum of best Ukraine’s "friend" Vladimir Putin...
"Obolonskiy Court. Semenchenko announced the Tornado perverts’ requirements. It is a typical headline in Youtube on the search query "Tornado".
Matios talked about "inhumane torturing". Can torture be "humane"?
"Looting, smuggling and so on. What did those who were supposed to protect order in the ATO area get involved in?" - announced another series of "investigative journalism" of the Tornado on the website of STB.
Emotions are artificially injected, substituting facts.
The main speakers on the topic: of course, the Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios, former head of the Luhansk Regional Administration Gennadiy Moskal and MP Tatyana Chornovol. Now let's comparable Tornado "virtual" case created by them and the one being considered in Obolonskyi Court of Kiev. In closed mode.
G. Moskal, STB interview: "We did not find those two men. But they were stopped, they had large amounts of money and then they were gone. I have no doubts that they were killed. "
A. Matios, STB film: "The man was chained to exercise equipment in the gym of the secondary school in a particularly perverse form, they carried out raping in an unnatural way and it's all shot on video, then that man was killed."
As you can see the Chief Military Prosecutor talked about the murder of the raped man as a fact (!). But the indictment of Tornado has no evidence of the fact, it is not accused of the murder! You should remember probably from the US or the Soviet detectives: "No body - no murder". And we turned out to have one! But not in the real Tornado case, but the virtual one, created for the public.
Screen of a video posted on the official website of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine. There are no charges of murder.
Neither in the real case in the court, nor in the Matios’s video on television, where Tornado guys filmed the rape carried out in an unnatural way."
I repeat: The author does not claim that murder and rape didn’t take place. Matios and Moskal know it better. But I just can say that the murder and rape are not mentioned in the indictment, but the proof of "rape" of a man, that has been qualified as "torture", consist of exclusively evidence of "rapists" themselves, whom Onishchenko and Co. forced to rape someone. Excuse me for the pun, but such evidence requires proof, because there is no victim’s statement or the victim himself. Moreover, Matios says in the camera that the "raped" man was killed. The indictment states that then he was forced to do some work and then released...
T. Chornovol, 112 Channel:. "When Tornado commanders were arrested, their mobile phones were seized. The mobile phones have scary video and those really scary videos are now in the case file. That video of various sexual orgies, rap, and even I would say that there were even babies. I understand that this baby's mother was forced to do it under the threat of the death of her child. There were rapes of minor girls. You know, they are animals, they are not humans... "
The case doesn’t include the video with raped babies that Tatiana Chornovol announced nationwide. If investigators or Chornovol have these videos, why are there no appropriate charges?
Chief Military Prosecutor, MPs, governors and media have been calling certain people, Tornado commanders, murderers, rapists, perverts for more than one year! Even if there is no court decision, without presenting evidence, absolutely unfounded! Do they still need a presumption of correctness for the security forces? It’s even awkward to talk about the presumption of innocence for citizens in our "NON-wartime"...
Before telling million audience about "inhuman torture" and "rape in an unnatural way", Anatoliy Matios showed to the camera the investigator's decision to grant him permission for the disclosure of pre-trial investigation data in Savik Shuster’s TV programme about a year ago.
"To permit the Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine, the Chief Military Prosecutor Matios to disclose pre-trial investigation in criminal implementation in the part concerning the testimony of victims without disclosing personal data of victims under the terms of confidentiality of data to defame a person, degrading his/her honour and dignity.
Disclosure of factless information that degrades the honour and dignity of the suspects, whose case is being considered in closed court and who are objectively deprived of many opportunities for protection - is it normal?
By the way, on the closed nature of the case. The GPO motivates it by the fact that " the circumstances of crimes against sexual freedom and sexual integrity are investigated...", the need "to prevent the disclosure of circumstances which degrade the individual victims who were tortured", and "the need to ensure the safety of victims and witnesses."
Screen of the video posted on the official website of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine
Let us examine it in detail.
All the "dirty topic" that made the court case closed is "raping" of a man (whose location is not known and evidence isn’t included into the case) by witness (not suspects!) and "satisfaction" of "sexual passion in an unnatural way" by two out of 12 Tornado defendants.
We have already discussed "rape", now “satisfaction" is to be analysed. The victim is a Tornado female employee who together with her lover, who is responsible for the armory, fled from the unit. At the same time, they took Tornado registry of ammunition. What for? Both were declared as wanted by Onishchenko and detained by the police (not Tornado). The allowance was found. Then versions of the victims and defendants start to differ. The accused said that she asked to stay in the troop on her own and in order to avoid harassment by soldiers, who considered her a traitor, Onishchenko settled her in his room, where apart from him another 10 people were living, including his wife.
The victim claims that after the police brought her back with her lover to Tornado, she was forced into the presence of 10 men to masturbate one of them. And then, Onishchenko allegedly forced her to masturbate him for a month and a half...
Evidence is only victim’s and her friend’s words who also gave evidence, according to the victim.
The question why "the rapists and murderers" instead of rape and murder satisfied their sexual needs in such an inefficient way – will be left behind the scenes. Oh, obviously, with these characteristics and after the things they did to the "raped" and "murdered" man, the "animals" thought the least of forensic and other legal proceedings needed if the victim had written a statement about the rape. They hardly thought about it, but the investigation, apparently, thought of it. Because rape can be proved only after relevant examinations, but words are enough to prove the forced masturbation... Most likely, the court will remove this charge because of lack of proof, but the Prosecutor General's Office has a legitimate reason to make the process closed ...
Explaining the closed nature of the court proceedings, the prosecution motivated by the "mind anguish" of the victims who even don’t what to remember what was going on. At the same time, these victims are interviewed by journalists, remembering events in the camera even on the scene.
In general, the factor of the victims’ and witnesses’ identity in this case may be the key one. Almost all of them are delinquent Tornado officers who committed crimes and are under investigation. Accordingly, they have a motive both for the slander of their colleagues and for deals with prosecutors.
For example, the main witness - Yuriy Shevchenko – Tornado officer who was arrested along with the others for causing injuries to one of the "perpetrators". He is the only one who admitted his guilt and thus, became a witness. All the evidence base against Onishchenko’s company is based on his testimony...
Other witnesses and victims are either police, who need to avoid responsibility, or antisocial personalities.
Another interesting fact is that neither General Moskal, nor MP Tatyana Chornovol who are the main "witnesses" in the "virtual" charges, are not mentioned in the real criminal proceedings and court. That is, they either hide information from the investigation about what they stated in the media (which itself is a crime), or are just babblers ...
I repeat once again: the author does not claim that the things the prosecutors accuse Tornado of didn’t happen. Maybe, they did. But where is the evidence? Why should I believe words said by the employee of Yanukovych’s administration Matios and not to believe Onishchenko who protected my country from the separatists and aggressor? It is a real fact that Tornado defended and died, but "rape" of infants and murder are only words and imagination.
And there is a logical question: why do Matios, Moskal, Chornovol, etc. need all this?
As regards the latter, it seems just to be ingrained love for journalistic sensationalism.
But it may be more complicated with Matios and Moskal.
On May 29th, two weeks before the arrests, the deputy commander of the Tornado Nikolay Tsukur said during Shuster live:
"It is sad enough that my immediate chief Lieutenant General Naumenko appointed by Bolotov (the first leader of the "LPR" - auth.) and then approved by Avakov, is still managing the region ... The war has been going on for a year and the person is not even under investigation for surrendering more than 30 thousand machine guns, for the fact that he had left the personal files of employees, for the fact that the entire staff stayed in Luhansk ... We have stopped smuggling. When we were told that smuggling would go not just in cars, but already trains (the first train was supposed to go on April 2nd, approximately between 19.00 and 22.00), we received an order to withdraw all units from Stanitsa Luhanskaya on April 2nd by 18.00."
Two days after this programme, on May 31st Tsukur’s house in Perevalsk was burned down by unknown.
General of the MIA - Gennadiy Moskal supervised Luhansk region then, together with the head of Ministry of Internal Affairs General Naumenko...
Matios was also repeatedly accused (even by MPs) of involvement in the protection of smuggling in the ATO area. But even if the Chief Military Prosecutor had just to eliminate the interference into the illegal business, then it would be logical to do it quietly, without attracting too much attention to the problem. He initially exaggerated Tornado case, making it more media than legal. What for?
In terms of a hypothetical answer to this question. Matios’s statement made on the air on June 19th, 2015, two days after the arrest of Onishchenko, is quite interesting.
"The Prosecutor General of Ukraine decided to transfer the criminal proceedings regarding the Tornado unit of police, I emphasize - the police, to the investigator of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office. It is not a jurisdiction of investigators of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office, but because the described events that became the basis for making statements about the criminal proceedings took place in the area of anti-terrorist operations, especially in its hot phase on the territory nearby Popasnaya, we started proceeding (the investigators of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office) and started meticulous collection of evidence."
Two points stand out in that sentence. The first is that Matios recognizes that this case is not a jurisdiction of the Main Military Prosecutor’s Office. The second - his emphasis on the fact that Tornado is police officers.
But really, if we abstract ourselves from personalities of "animals" and "killers", then there are legitimate and logical questions: who created The MIA special unit full of "sadists" and "rapists"? What are the "special operations" carried out by order of the higher ranks of the Interior Ministry and other government officials? ...
Perhaps, Tornado case was made closed not even because the investigation has no evidence, but the process may release facts that the General Prosecutor's Office wants to have, but doesn’t want to disclose? Maybe, Tornado case is a leash around the neck of Avakov and some other politicians?
So, in early August the media reported that the Tornado fighters, in respect of whom a number of criminal proceedings are being investigated, give evidence against some senior government officials ... According to the Tornado fighters, they carried out orders from the representatives of the current government," - wrote the media. Then there was a clear allusion to the "Groysman’s minister in the government" who, as we all know, went to Donetsk for business talks with the "DPR authorities".
Doesn’t publication on the Internet of the photo depicting Tornado officer Pugachov, who killed police officer in Dnepr, with Yuriy Lutsenko fit this version?
And who knows, if Tornado doesn’t come up, where, for example, the energy assets of Yanukovych family will be re-divided?
Two weeks ago Ekonomicheskaya Pravda wrote on change of the "supervisor" from the President in the energy sector. MP from PPB Sergei Trigubenko was replaced by Donetsk businessman Vitaliy Kropachev.
"The new "supervisor" is a creature of ubiquitous Igor Kononenko, who continues to be the "sovereign's eye" of the President in the energy sector. Kropachev already started to perform his responsibilities and introduce his people in key enterprise of the coal and energy sector, including the last state generating company of the country – Tsentrenergo, - writes the publication. "They plan to make the owner of the new fuel and energy group from newly created "coal" king. Achieving this goal will begin with the redemption of three large coal assets from Alexander Yanukovych. This purchase should start a clone and competitor to vertically integrated Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK holding,"- says the author of the article.
That is, the stakes, as we see, are very serious. And if it turns out that Vitaliy Kropachev served in Tornado since September 2014? Until then, he didn’t just live with Onishchenko in the same city, but even owned enterprises operating in the same industry as Tornado commander’s business... And if Matios somehow manages to check the telephone belonging to there "sovereign's eye" to see if there are embarrassing video? – It may dramatically change division of powers in the energy sector of Ukraine...
And here is another interesting fact - it turns out that not all Tornado officers are such "animals" as Onishchenko and Pugachev. At least for now…
But let’s get away from irony and get back to serious matters. We can call them questions of life and death.
"The need to ensure the safety of victims and witnesses" - as the Prosecutor General motivates closeness of this process.
So, neither the media nor the law enforcers have published a single fact of threat to life or death of the prosecution side. But the defence witnesses are mysteriously dying with greater intensity than in the ATO area.
On July 14th, 2016 a Mercedes with two Tornado officers, who are claimed to be defence witnesses, was blown up in Lvov region. One died immediately and the other one died in the emergency room.
On August 22nd a minibus with 11 Tornado officers, who were returning from Mariupol to Kiev after 40th day of the 18-year-old fighter with call sign Marik who died in the exploded in Lvov, got into car crash with a truck (the driver disappeared). 1 person died on the spot, 10 were hospitalized, 5 were heavy injured. One of them died later from the injuries.
Before that, one Tornado officer was "shot" with a shotgun (maybe, he did it with his feet); one was "officially" killed by the police during the arrest in Lisichansk, where he lived with his family; one woman got under the APC; another one was killed in Dnepr, one died because of the brain tumour; two had a heart stroke ...
In general, there is a strong feeling that someone eliminates the witnesses. And, as they are witnesses from defence, then it is clear that they are eliminated not by the "rapists and murderers" ...
All this, nevertheless, makes us think about the political background of the Tornado case. Only an open and transparent trial can dispel this doubt.
Sergei Garmash, OstroV