Two military officers who saw combat in Ukraine and whose units were accused of committing war crimes against civilians, were seen to be standing behind Russian President Vladimir Putin during Thursday’s Victory Day parade in Moscow.

As reported by Russian news outlet Agency. News, the individuals were identified as Senior Lieutenant Chalym Chuldum-ool and Major Boris Dudko.

While serving in Ukraine, Chuldum-ool served with the 55th Mountain Motor Rifle Brigade from the Tuva Republic. For weeks, his unit held more than 300 residents, including infants and people aged over 90 years old, in basement of a school with no toilet, lighting nor ventilation in the village of Yahidne in the Chernihiv region.

The unit set up its headquarters in the school above the detained villagers in what Ukrainian authorities described as human-shield tactics. Ten hostages died while being detained, with another 17 killed during the occupation.


Ukraine has since identified more than a dozen troops who were involved in the occupation of Yahidne, though Chuldum-ool was not listed.

Chuldum-ool was reportedly awarded the Hero of Russia medal for firing a grenade launcher at two vehicles and killing 10 Ukrainian soldiers, according to an announcement by Vladislav Khovalyg, head of Russia’s Tuva Republic in March.

Another soldier seated behind Putin was Major Boris Dudko, who served in Ukraine as deputy commander of the 124th separate tank battalion of the 76th Guards Airborne Assault Division of the Airborne Forces.

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His unit took part in massacres that took place in Bucha outside Kyiv at the onset of the 2022 full-scale invasion, which was described in detail in Meduza’s April 2023 report.

A site that includes details of recipients of Russian military awards lists Dudko as also being given the Hero of Russia title after troops under his command destroyed “seven enemy tanks and a large number of enemy personnel” in eastern Ukraine.

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