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Ukrainian lawmaker says situation on battlefield is “far worse” than it was at the start of war

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A Russian Common, recognized in a CNN investigation as answerable for targeting civilians in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv and his function because the architect of the siege of Aleppo, was concerned in high-level protection talks along with his UK counterpart in 2017 after receiving Russia’s highest navy honor for his function in its struggle in Syria.

Col-Common Alexander Zhuravlyov, in his capability as then Deputy Chief of Common Employees, met with the UK’s then Vice Chief of Defence Employees Common Messenger for high-level talks, throughout a visit to Moscow in 2017 in what was characterised by the UK’s Ministry of Defence as “navy to navy dialogue.” Zhuravlyov mentioned with Messenger “a restart of navy interplay,” Russian state information company TASS reported on February 28, 2017, quoting Russia’s Ministry of Protection.

CNN’s investigation discovered that Zhuravlyov’s management in 2016 catalyzed the assault on japanese Aleppo. After he took the reins, the Russian navy quickly ramped up its assaults on the rebel-held territory and accomplished the siege of the densely populated metropolis, exacting a big loss of life toll and setting the wheels in movement for a tactic that has outlined Russia’s intervention in Syria: besiege, starve, bombard and grind into submission.

His interval of command additionally noticed a dramatic enhance in documented cluster munition assaults in Aleppo.

European intelligence company analysts who spoke to CNN on situation of anonymity stated the sample of Zhuravlyov’s conduct in Syria and Ukraine is similar, subjugating cities via terror. “Zhuravlyov was introduced in with the aim of bringing a few swift capitulation of Aleppo. He did that utilizing a lot of the identical methodology we see in Ukraine. Ordering the indiscriminate use of cluster munitions in opposition to dense civilian infrastructure and populations,” the analyst stated.

Syrian human rights activists have lengthy known as for Russia’s Common to be held accountable, and a number one UK human rights lawyer on the legislation agency Payne Hicks Seashore, Matthew Ingham, instructed CNN: “Colonel Common Alexander Zhuravlyov ought to have been sanctioned for his actions in Syria” including, “It’s a disgrace that there was not a stronger response to alleged struggle crimes at that stage, as a result of that will have affected Putin’s Ukrainian strategic calculations from the outset. 

Neither the US nor the UK have taken public motion in opposition to Zhuravlyov or different key Russian generals implicated in struggle crimes. The US State Division would not touch upon the particular findings of CNN’s investigation however stated they continued to trace and assess struggle crimes and experiences of ongoing violence and abuses. 

In an announcement to CNN, the UK Ministry of Protection stated a earlier assertion issued in 2017 “made it clear” that they supported navy to navy dialogue to attenuate danger and miscalculation

“We stand by that precept, which is why we gave Russia each alternative to have interaction in dialogue this 12 months over Ukraine earlier than they launched their reprehensible and unprovoked invasion,” an MOD spokesperson stated. 

CNN’s Jennifer Hansler contributed to this report