War and justice

Kharkiv: Local man sentenced to life in prison for passing coordinates of regional state administration to Russians

The Kyiv District Court of Kharkiv declared Kharkiv resident Denys Panikarov guilty of high treason.

According to the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office, from February to April 2022, the 38-year-old man collected information about Kharkiv’s Armed Forces and infrastructure.

He passed the intelligence to two accomplices of the Russian special services. One of them now lives in Moscow. In 2014, she served as a nurse in the ranks of the so-called “DPR.” The other curator lives in St. Petersburg and heads the organization “Save Donbas” (Russian: “Спасем Донбасс”).

The investigation found that on February 28, 2022, the man sent the coordinates of the Kharkiv Regional State Administration and several addresses that were subsequently shelled by the Russian army. According to the court’s ruling, among other things, this included information about the location of the Armed Forces warehouses and the movement of Ukrainian soldiers, as well as the National Corps base.

In addition, he published posts on social media that, according to the expert, denied Russia’s armed aggression and approved the actions of the aggressor country. For example, he posted, “In the city of Merefa, American scientists are testing dangerous biological drugs on patients.”

During the search, they found a computer that he used to send coordinates, as well as a Fort-202 carbine, pistol ammunition, and a grenade case that he had illegally purchased and kept at home. The photos the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office distributed also show walkie-talkies, binoculars, and Russian literature on tactical military training.

During the investigation, the Kharkiv resident changed his story about the crime he was charged with, but he never admitted his guilt. He said he knew nothing and did not transfer any information to Russia.

According to “Suspilne. Kharkiv,” after his detention, the man wrote an application to be added to the exchange lists. He wants to go to Russia, where he has relatives and friends, and because, according to him, “there is no justice in Ukraine.” In a comment to journalists, he said that before the full-scale invasion, he worked as a security guard at a private enterprise.

As a result, the panel of judges found Denis Panikarov guilty of high treason committed under martial law, justifying Russia’s armed aggression, and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with confiscation of property. According to the Youcontrol analytical system, a person with the same last name and initials has an apartment in Kharkiv.

The verdict can be appealed within 30 days.

As a reminder, on March 1, 2022, 31 people were killed and the building itself was destroyed as a result of the shelling of the Kharkiv Regional Military Administration by Russian troops. Dmytro Chubenko, a spokesperson for the Kharkiv Regional Prosecutor’s Office, told  “Suspilne. Kharkiv,” that Panikarov was accused of passing on the coordinates, not of involvement in the attack. There are other defendants who adjusted the shelling at that time.

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