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He Was About to Shoot a Civilian: Russian Sniper Dambayev Has Been Sentenced to 12 Years of Imprisonment

On March 27, the Chamber of Kyivo-Sviatoshynskyi District Court in Kyiv Region reached a verdict for Chingis Dambayev, a Russian scout sniper. He was found guilty under Article 438, Part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine, “Violation of the Rules and Customs of War,” and sentenced to 12 years of imprisonment. This is the maximum punishment stipulated by the said part of the article, and this was the term asked by the public prosecution for Dambayev.

As Dambayev was exchanged in April of 2022, special proceedings in absentia were conducted on this case. The Russian military has been put on the wanted list.

The convicted person was born in Tsagan-Ola Village, Mogoytuyskiy District, Aga Buryat Autonomous Area, Zabaikalsky Krai. He is a citizen of the Russian Federation and a scout sniper of the 4608 Military Unit in the 5th Separate Tatsyn Guard Tank Brigade of Red Banner and Suvorov Order.

According to the investigation, at about 2:30 P.M. on March 8, 2022, on Road M-06 (E-40) Kyiv — Zhytomyr, near Buzova Village of Kyivo-Sviatoshynskyi District, Kyiv Region, the drunk Dambayev stopped a car from an evacuation convoy at gunpoint. There was a married couple with two children in the car.

Threatening with a rifle, Dambayev ordered the man to get out of the car and to take off all his clothes down to the waist. Having examined the complainant’s trunk and arms, the Russian military saw his green tattoo featuring a skull and an eye. For that reason, he accused the man of using the Nazi swastika and hit him in the head with the butt of the automatic rifle. After that, Dambayev aimed with the intention of shooting. However, according to the verdict, “the crime was not completed for reasons beyond his control.”

When the arguments were being heard on March 27, Svitlana Lytvyn, Public Prosecutor of the Prosecutor General’s Office, was talking about the sufficiency of the evidence that proves the defendant’s guilt and the correct qualification of the crime.

“The very fact of the act and the defendant’s involvement therein are not challenged by anybody and are proved with the body of evidence, the testimonies of the complainants questioned during the judicial proceedings, the protocols of the person’s identification and the photos,” the Public Prosecutor said. She asked to acknowledge the Russian scout sniper’s state of alcoholic intoxication during the crime as a matter of aggravation.

During the arguments, Dambayev’s defender Viktor Payeta said that it was morally difficult for him to defend in a case of such category, but, in the line of his professional duty, he tried to explain the defendant’s behavior. He asked the court “to award the punishment below the lowest limit of the established sanction in accordance with Article 438, Part 1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.” According to the defender, during the interrogation in the course of the prejudicial inquiry, Dambayev explained that it was impossible to find a job in his homeland. The defender, therefore, asked to recognize as extenuating circumstances the perpetration of the crime as a result of the concurrence of hard circumstances and the service dependence and to consider the fact that Dambayev has two little daughters dependent on him.

“Due to his difficult financial situation, upon receiving secondary education, Dambayev could not receive even secondary vocational education because he was undergoing military service by conscription in the army of the Russian Federation. That enabled him to conclude a contract with a military unit of the RF Armed Forces, thus providing more or less proper level of income for his family,” the defender said.

After coming out of the meeting room, the court pronounced only the operative part of the verdict and sentenced Dambayev to 12 years of imprisonment. The period of imprisonment shall be counted from the day of his actual detention.

Iryna Domashchenko, specially for MIHR  

Translated from Ukrainian by Olena Balatska

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