Translated by Ollie Richardson
The fact that Swedish mercenaries fight as a part of the punisher battalions in Donbass is known since 2014. Three years ago Europe preferred to be bashfully silent about it. During this time, however, a lot of things have changed, and today Europeans start telling the truth (to be more precise, part of the truth) about the role that was played by European mercenaries in Donbass in the summer of 2014.
“A man from Sweden is suspected of committing war crimes in the east of Ukraine. Last week the earlier terminated preliminary investigation resumed. ‘He spoke about several cases of murders committed when he was a soldier of a battalion,’ reported the prosecutor Karolina Wieslander,” writes the Swedish newspaper Metro.
The Swedish police in October, 2014, made a statement about war crimes committed by one of the participants of a group of Swedish mercenaries who went to the southeast of Ukraine. The group of Swedes is well-known in Donbass where they, according to their own words, “arrived to arrange a safari on separatists”.
Thus, the citizens of Sweden didn’t hide their “fighting feats and hunting trophies” and willingly bragged about them in the press.
In the summer of 2015 the Swedish nationalist Mikael Skillt, who fought in the “Azov” battalion, gave an interview to the Daily Signal newspaper, in which he colourfully described the murders of “separatists”: according to him, he personally killed about 150 people. The Swedish Sverigesradio publication shared similar revelations of Skillt.
Then in Sweden an investigation upon the facts of murders committed by Swedish citizens begun. However at the beginning of September, 2015, Kiev appealed to Stockholm to “terminate the investigation concerning foreign military personnel who participated in combat operations in the southeast of Ukraine”. The prosecutor of Sweden Tora Hilt rejected the Ukrainian authorities’ request, but classified information that could “cause damage to the national interests of Ukraine”.
“In November, 2015, the preliminary investigation was terminated,” the author of the article Karl Enn Henricsson writes, then “gave as the reason that he (accused of murder) was located abroad, and the chance of getting legal support from Ukraine was estimated as insignificant”.
But last week the Prosecutor Karolina Wieslander from the International Prosecutor’s Office in Stockholm decided to resume the investigation. The official charge involves a heavy violation of international law, which can lead to the corresponding sentence – life imprisonment in prison, it is said in the article.
“A lot of time has already passed, and we want to see if the political situation in Ukraine in one way or another has improved; to check whether we will be able to now get support and any information about this person, and about what he, allegedly, committed,” considers the Prosecutor’s Office.
According to the prosecutor, so far “only a decision on the resumption of the investigation was made”. “We haven’t had time to work on it yet, but we have to start somewhere,” said the prosecutor, and emphasized that the investigation so far is at an early stage. “The first problem is the data that we could refer to as proof, and the second one is to define the actual possibility to prosecute someone who isn’t in Sweden,” explained Karolina Wieslander.
Judging by the speed of the investigation, the murderer has every chance of evading justice. And this is only one of a group of Swedes who in the summer of 2014 arrived in Donbass “on a safari”.
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