“These are animals, not people”: Zelensky frees convicted child rapists, torturers to reinforce depleted military
Once condemned by Ukrainian officials and imprisoned for sadistic torture and the rape of minors, leaders of the notorious Tornado Battalion are free under Volodymyr Zelensky’s orders.
After banning virtually his entire political opposition, publishing a blacklist of foreign journalists and academics accused of advancing “Russian propaganda,” and ramming through a law exempting 70% of Ukrainians from workplace protections, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy has freed from prison fascist militants convicted of some of the most heinous crimes the country has seen since World War II.
According to a July 11 report in Ukrainian media, Ruslan Onishenko, commander of the now-disbanded Tornado Battalion, was freed as part of President Zelensky’s scheme to release prisoners with combat experience. Along with an unwavering commitment to fascism, Onishenko is known as a psychopathic sadist who was involved in sexually assaulting children, brutally torturing prisoners, and murder.
Onishenko’s release follows a February 27 order by Zelensky to free other convicted former Tornado members like Danil “Mujahed” Lyashuk, a fanatic from Belarus who has openly emulated ISIS and boasted of torturing captives for sheer enjoyment. According to Zelensky‘s decree, prisoners with combat experience would be allowed to “compensate for their guilt” by fighting in the “hottest spots.”
Back in 2015, when the Ukrainian state provided official support to his Tornado Battalion, Onishenko texted two fellow “patriots,” Voldomor and Svetlana Savichuk, propositioning Svetlana Savichuk to “suck my cock in front of the [toddler] children.” (See screenshots of the conversation here). He also asked Savichuk to perform lewd acts on her children for his viewing pleasure. Despite the magnitude of his crimes, which included torture, murder, rape – including that of children – kidnapping, amputation, and more, Onishenko was sentenced to a mere 11 years in prison on April 11, 2017.
Now, after serving just five years of his sentence, the convicted predator has been freed by a president hailed by Western patrons as a defender of democracy.
Zelensky’s move is not just a signal of desperation as his military is ground down by Russian forces in the east. It extends the virtual impunity that Ukrainian battalions infested with hardened criminals and neo-Nazis have enjoyed for over eight years as official enforcers of the post-Maidan regime’s rule.
As regular units defect after Maidan, battalions fill the gap
Back in February 2014, when the US-backed Euromaidan coup drove out Ukraine’s democratically elected president, the new regime in Kiev faced a crisis. All across the country, military units and local governments were still filled with ethnic Russians and other supposedly “unpatriotic” elements. Ethnic Russian politicians mostly from the east were branded as “radical deputies” and kidnapped, hunted down or otherwise forced to flee.