A video appeared on the Web of how a military pickup truck is burning. Vitaliy Karvatskyi, a soldier from the 215th battalion of the 125th brigade of Lviv's TrO, who published the video, said that the car was deliberately burned by a grenade, battalion commander Andriy Selekhman. Judging by the context, the incident happened somewhere in Donbas.
TSN.ua understood the details of the scandalous story.
On May 29, Karvatsky tweeted a video of a car burning.
Why did the battalion burn the car
"While you're there all over the country looking like cars for the army, my *ban*t fused battalion is blowing them up with grenades, because f*ck guys to ride," he captioned his post.
"Watch the car burn. For going to Lyman (Donetsk region - ed.) for gasoline. For the fact that the boys went just to buy gasoline to the generator at their own expense. 215th Battalion, 125th Brigade. Kombat – Selekhman Andriy Yevhenovyi. Volunteers raised money, people tried, and it set it on fire," the soldiers behind the scenes say.
In the comments under the video, Vitaly even hints that the commander may abuse drugs.
The soldier who posted the video was threatened
The video has received wide publicity. A few hours after the publication, Karvatsky announced that he was summoned to the battalion commander.
When he returned, Karvatsky said that battalion commander Andriy Selekhman threatened with criminal liability and asked to record a rebuttal and public apology for the "slander."
"All of you must have seen the video of the car burned by the battalion. I had an hours-long conversation with threats in my direction. With threats against the guys from the RWP (repair and restoration regiment) of the following nature: either I record a video apologizing for the slander, or the SBU starts an investigation against me for filming and distributing materials, lying about Mr. Kombat. If you see this video, then I made my choice and I will not deviate from my words, because there is a fact – the battalion burned the car. The official version that a fragment fell into it. The RWP guys were given a choice. They chose less resistance, will not sign the report and will profess the official version of events. My phone will be taken away and I will not be able to give any comment. I'm likely to be f***ed up. Hopefully not physically. They hang a lot of things on me. Because the command is covering itself," he said.
The case began to be investigated
The regional directorate of the Territorial Defense Forces "West" in a comment to "Hromadske" reported that an internal investigation was being conducted into this fact.
On May 30, at 15:43, Vitaly published a new post. He said that representatives of the Security Service of Ukraine, the brigade management, representatives of the TrO Forces had come to the brigade. According to the soldier, they found evidence that the car had indeed been blown up by a grenade.
"The event became public, and did not go unnoticed for Kyiv. Today, representatives of counterintelligence, brigade management, representatives of the TrO Forces have arrived in order to understand the situation. I hope there will be some positive changes, but for now the main problem is that I am not a participant in the situation. Personally, I have not seen, and therefore we need confirmation of the servicemen who were directly there," Karvatsky wrote.
Witnesses refuse to testify
According to him, direct witnesses of the incident "due to possible intimidation by criminal cases testify that they have not seen anything, do not know anything, as if the car detonated by itself."
"However, as it happens when you invent it, everyone in the testimony is confused, and this was noticed by representatives of counterintelligence. Similarly, circumstantial evidence was found that their version of events was a lie, and that the battalion did indeed detonate the car with a grenade. Additionally, the car has traces of debris from the inside.
How the situation will go further – I do not know. So far, it is clear that counterintelligence is on the side of truth, the brigade department too. I hope it's not just words. I hope that they will make the right choice, and not the one who shot the video or the one who distributed it will be punished, but the one who exceeded his authority and blew up the car, that is, the combatant," the fighter said.
What lawyers say
Lawyer and war veteran Masi Nayyem said that he spoke with Vitaly Karvatsky, and assured that he would "protect him free of charge".
Just talked to him. They were summoned to the battalion, there was the VSP (Military Law Enforcement Service - ed.). He is not a witness. The RWP witnessed, but the boys retract their testimony. Counterintelligence checked their phones and found out that the battalion had blown up.
Now the brigade commander verbally spoke out for the fact that Vitaly is right. Whether there will be consequences and investigations is questionable. Vitaly wrote an explanation. We will protect Vitaliy from violations of his rights," Nayyem said.
In a comment ZAXID.NET Masi Nayyem added that the battalion that blew up the car faces criminal liability.
"In my practice, there have been cases when a commander behaves incorrectly. If it is established that the car was a volunteer car and it was put on the balance sheet, then the battalion, in fact, damaged state property. There will be responsibility for this. I am now at the front and cannot imagine a situation where I was given a car and not obliged to put it on balance. We have all cars on the balance sheet. Based on this design, I see that the car was on balance. This is a criminal liability, but even if it was not on the balance sheet, it is the property of people. I can't imagine on what grounds a commander can blow up a car (are Russians sitting there)," the human rights activist explained
He also explained that even if the guys went to Lyman without permission on their own business, the battalion commander had no right to do so.
"I don't know if the military drove arbitrarily. But such a reaction of the commander indicates that he behaves inadequately in terms of reaction to violations. Even if the military had left the unit outside the law, he still had no legal right to do so," concluded Masi Nayyem.
What does Kombat say
In a comment to the publication "Svidomi", battalion commander Andrei Selekhman said that he did not confirm the information about the arson of the car. However, he did not voice his version of the car fire.
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