Send Letter eng

Russia wants to secretly bury murdered Ukrainian teenagers Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov

The occupation authorities of Berdiansk are planning a secret burial of Ukrainian teenagers Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov. This was reported to the Media Initiative for Human Rights by Hryhorii Ohannisian, Tihran’s father.

The occupation authorities turned the teenagers killed by Russian security forces into “terrorists.” A year after the murder, they urgently decided to bury them in an unmarked grave. They are going to do this in complete secrecy, without informing their relatives about the time and place of burial.

Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov were murdered on June 24 of last year in Berdiansk. Their bodies have not been returned to their families since then. For more than a year, the MIHR has been conducting its investigation into this brutal murder. During this time, Russian investigators have repeatedly told the relatives that they would allow them to take and bury the bodies of the teenagers. However, under various pretexts, the occupation authorities refused to hand over the bodies each time. Now, they want to bury them as “terrorists”.

Tihran Ohannisian

We remind you that the Russian occupation authorities have persecuted Ohannisian, Khanhanov, and their families since September 2022. Then Tihran was abducted from his home, tortured, and abused for five days. The boy was released only after the disappearance of the child was publicized. The family also tried to take Tihran out of the occupation, but the occupiers arrested the boy and his parents and returned them to occupied Berdiansk. 

For six months, the children were under severe pressure from the occupiers. They were interrogated and forced to participate in “investigative experiments.” 

In the last few weeks before the extrajudicial execution, the pressure increased. Investigators charged the teenagers with preparing a sabotage and planned to bring the case to court. 

On the day they were murdered, an investigator came to Mykyta’s house, and they had a long conversation. Later that evening, the boys went for a walk and were killed – according to the occupation authorities of Berdiansk, because of an attack on the “police.”

Mykyta Khanhanov

The MIHR believes that Tihran Ohannisian and Mykyta Khanhanov were killed intentionally. We place the responsibility for this on the occupation authorities of Berdiansk, the Russian Guard unit that was in Berdiansk at the time of the murder, the leadership of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, and the highest military and political leadership of Russia, for whom terror and abuse of civilians are the basis of state policy and occupation practices.

On the eve of the children’s murder, the European Parliament, in its resolution, called on the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN Human Rights Mission to intervene and facilitate the departure of the teenagers to the government-controlled territory. There has been no response to this call.

The MIHR calls on the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Commissioner of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Dmytro Lubinets, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and the entire international community to urgently intervene in the situation and take all possible measures to prevent the shameful burial of Ukrainian children, return the bodies to their families or the Ukrainian side for burial and effectively investigate this war crime.


Leave a comment

Your e-mail address will not be published. Mandatory fields are marked *