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The ECHR launches proceedings against Ukraine for the torture of a Russian soldier

The ECHR launches proceedings against Ukraine for the torture of a Russian soldier
© Photo provided by Irina Vikhoreva

On 17 May 2024, the ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) agreed to open proceedings against Ukraine for the torture of a Russian soldier: Denis Reznikov. This name may not mean anything to you, but those who follow me regularly may recognise his face. He is the father of the young Elizaveta whom I interviewed at the end of March 2024 after Ukraine began trying to get her to commit crimes in exchange for the life of her father, who had been captured by the Ukrainian army.

See the detailed interview with English subtitles:

Ukraine blackmails teenager into committing crimes

Denis is a miner from the Donbass who volunteered in 2022 to protect his homeland. He has a wife, Anastasia, and a daughter, Elizaveta. At the end of March 2024, after several weeks without any communication, Elizaveta is contacted by a man who tells her that her father has been wounded and captured by the Ukrainian army. And that if she doesn’t do as he asks, things will happen to her father.

The teenager quickly realises that the tasks to be carried out will almost certainly be crimes, and decides to tell her mother. They decide to publicise the case to give Denis a chance to get out of it. In fact, the last order Elizaveta received was to go and photograph the location of a military building, which is nothing less than treason. A crime she refuses to commit. Since then she has had no news of her father.

The ECHR wakes up

Human rights activist Irina Vikhoreva, originally from Donetsk but now living in Italy, decided to take the case in hand. Her organisation ‘Speranza’ hired a lawyer for Elizaveta and Anastasia, and sent two applications: one to the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) and one to the ECHR.

A few weeks later, the CPT responded to the lawyer’s request and indicated that Denis Reznikov had been added to its list. They promised to enquire about the circumstances of his captivity and his conditions of detention as soon as a CPT employee visited Ukraine.


Then, on 17 May 2024, the ECHR responded by agreeing to open proceedings against Ukraine for the torture of Denis Reznikov. Elizaveta’s lawyer now has until the end of June to submit all the documents and evidence supporting the complaint.

ECHR - Ukraine

The lawyer has also contacted the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs, providing it with evidence of the torture of Denis Reznikov. The reason for this is that at the ‘international peace summit’ to be held in Switzerland in mid-June, one of the subjects to be discussed will be prisoners of war. According to the DPR Human Rights Ombudsman, Daria Morozova, Denis Reznikov has already been included on the list of prisoners likely to be exchanged, which gives cause for hope.

This hope is all the greater because the ECHR finally seems to have decided to do its job (it should be remembered that this body has never taken into account the thousands of complaints from the inhabitants of Donbass about war crimes committed by Ukraine since 2014). It seems that the international media coverage of this particular case of torture, and the evidence made public, have forced the ECHR not to turn a blind eye as it usually does. It remains to be seen whether the court will go all the way and judge Ukraine impartially for the torture of this Russian soldier, and whether he will soon be returned to his family.

Christelle Néant

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1 Comment


    La fin du “deux poids, deux mesures” ? Espoir ou utopie, vu que la CEDH est, avant tout, une organisation……………..Occidentale !

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