Daniil Martynov: Former Chechen commander wanted by Ukraine for alleged war crimes is leading Russian quake relief in Turkey


A former Chechen commander needed by Ukraine for alleged battle crimes dedicated final 12 months is main the Russian earthquake aid effort in Turkey.

Daniil Martynov was in a number of places in Ukraine final 12 months within the early weeks of the Russian invasion. He’s regarded as near the Chechen chief Ramzan Kadyrov and has been featured in a number of movies on Kadyrov’s official Telegram channel.

In current days, he has given interviews to Russian media shops from the earthquake zone in Turkey, after being appointed final 12 months as an adviser in Russia’s Emergency Conditions Ministry.

Authorities have been racing in opposition to the clock to free survivors from the wreckage of a 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck early on Monday morning, inflicting buildings to break down and killing hundreds in Turkey and Syria. Dozens of nations have despatched support to assist with rescue efforts.

Final August, the Ukrainian safety service, the SBU, alleged that Martynov had dedicated a collection of battle crimes within the city of Borodianka, north of Kyiv.

The SBU described Martynov because the Deputy Head of the Nationwide Guard Troops within the Chechen Republic and mentioned he was “accountable for the coaching of Kadyrov’s private safety element.”

The SBU alleged that Martinov managed the occupation of the Borodianka psychiatric hospital in March. It mentioned that on his orders “virtually 500 individuals had been taken hostage (sufferers, workers and native residents), together with greater than 100 bed-ridden sufferers.”

The SBU alleged that the hospital had been “was a firing place of the occupiers” and mentioned that Martynov was accused of “violation of the legal guidelines and customs of battle, and abuse of prisoners of battle or civilians.”

CNN reported on the occupation of the hospital final March.

The director of the psychiatric hospital, Maryna Hanitska, instructed the impartial Russian outlet Meduza final 12 months that the Russians had “laid mines throughout us. We watched as they dug trenches” within the first week of March.

Meduza quotes Hanitska as saying: “A soldier stood in entrance of me and he launched himself. He mentioned he was Daniil Martynov, a Russian military colonel. He mentioned that if we behaved ourselves, then we might reside — they wouldn’t kill us, wouldn’t harm us.”

Hanitska instructed Meduza that Martynov instructed her: “Now we’ll document a brief video, you’ll thank us and also you’ll be free, you’ll be beneath the safety of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

“I requested, what’s there to be glad about? He leaned in near my face, appeared me within the eyes, and mentioned: “For the truth that you’re alive.”

CNN can’t independently affirm that it was Martynov who spoke to the hospital director.

There isn’t a document of Martynov responding to the Ukrainian allegations. Whereas dismissing the SBU accusations final August, Kadyrov mentioned: “With regard to Martynov, he doesn’t work for us. He’s working with the MES [Ministry of Emergency Situations.]”

In a voice recording, Kadyrov mentioned: “OK, SBU, simply inform us the time and place and we are going to come kind out simply who the true criminals are.”

Martynov was sanctioned in 2020 by the US Treasury Division for “critical human rights abuse in Russia.” It mentioned he was “a private safety adviser for Kadyrov, [and] has acted or presupposed to act for or on behalf of, instantly or not directly, Kadyrov.”

A number of movies posted on Kadyrov’s official Telegram channel final 12 months present Martynov at numerous places in occupied elements of Ukraine.

In a single he’s described as a member of Chechen particular forces in Ukraine.

Among the many places the place he was seen was the city of Popasna in Luhansk area, which was razed to the bottom by Russian shelling.

He’s additionally seen within the metropolis of Luhansk and visiting wounded troopers at an undisclosed location.

CNN is reaching out to Russia’s Emergency Conditions Ministry for touch upon Martinov’s function on the Ministry, in addition to to the Ukrainian Safety Service.