The People’s Court of Eastern Ukraine


One afternoon in late October, Kalashnikov-armed pro-Russian separatists led two accused rapists into the House of Culture in Alchevsk in the self-declared Luhansk People’s Republic for a “people’s court,” twisting their arms behind their backs so they were forced to bend over as they walked. One read out the evidence gathered against the first man by the rebels’ military police unit, arguing the 37-year-old had threatened a 15-year-old girl until she agreed to have sex with him. Then he asked the 340 local citizens and rebels assembled in the hall to vote to sentence him “to the highest form of punishment according to the laws of wartime, death by firing squad.”

The crowd voted to send the first man to redeem himself on the front line, where rebels continue to clash with government forces. It sentenced the second man, accused of at least three rapes since 2008, to death. A video of the people’s court caused an uproar in the Ukrainian and Russian media, especially one fragment in which Mozgovoi suggested that women should “sit at home and cross-stitch” and ordered that “any girl who goes to a bar will be arrested.”

Read on at The Nation

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