A participant of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine told human rights defenders that rape charges were forged against him to force him to confess of transmission of information to a foreign power


12 November 2022

A 31-year old captain of Russian Army Evgeny Shvetsov is placed in Pre-trial detention center SIZO-1 in Vladikavkaz on rape charges. He denies the allegations and thinks that they served as an excuse for apprehending him. According to Shvetsov, for two nights, starting from 29 September, he was kept in the FSB Department under the 58-th Army H.Q. handcuffed to the bedstead. In addition, according to Shvetsov, human rights defenders were driving him around the city with a bag on his head, threatened him with rape and were beating him up. Shvetsov applied to the lawyers with the Crew Against Tortures via his wife.      

*Lawyer from the CAT communicated with Evgeny Shvetsov at the Pre-trial detention facility on 2 November. No new charges were raised against him as of 16 November.  

Captain Evgeny Shvetsov has been serving in the Russian Armed forces for 14 years and has an award «For merits to the Fatherland». He participated in the Syrian campaign, and this year – in the special military operation in Ukraine. On 28 September, Evgeny and a comrade-in-arms of his came to Vladikavkaz from the Karachaevo-Cherkessk Republic.  In the evening of the same day, the men got acquainted with two girls, after that they went to a rented flat with them.  

According to Evgeny, in the morning of 29 September, he and his comrade-in-arms went to the hospital to visit a friend of theirs, however, when they came out of the car, about a dozen men ran up to them and without introducing themselves, handcuffed them, and took Evgeny to the   FSB Department under the 58-th Army H.Q. in Vladikavkaz.  

There, the officers informed Shvetsov that he was suspected of raping the girl who was with the previous night, and that she, allegedly, submitted a crime report on him. However, they asked Shvetsov questions about his brother, made him pass a lie detector twice, after that suggested that he confessed of transmitting information to a foreign power and failing that, threatened to open a criminal case with regard to rape charges. He spent the night in the headquarters premises, handcuffed to the bedstead.

Shvetsov told human right defenders that on the next morning, September 30, he was taken to investigator Sakaev, where Evgeny refused to provide any evidence. Shvetsov recalls that on that day two vehicles were used for his transportation – BMW Х5 and Infiniti. According to Shvetsov, a bag was put on his head on the road:

«The driver had a mask on. On the road, the car would stop, and the driver, having left the car, would hit me several times – my head and body. He said that he would kill me long before, had not he needed me alive. As a result, I was taken to some FSB premise, where I was put in one of the premises. Again, they started to force me to confess of cooperation with foreign special services».      

In the evening, he was moved out from the FSB Department, and, according to Shvetsov, he was forced to register at a hotel, having been threatened to be shot if he attempted to flee. All along the road, Evgeny had a bag on his head, and remembers only that he was beaten several times at the back of his head on the way. After that, he was taken back to the Department, where he spent the night, handcuffed to the bedstead, again. In the morning of October 1, Evgeny was subjected to the lie detector test once again, the results were not communicated to him: 

«They threatened me that after having been convicted under a rape article, sexual violence will be applied to me in detention facilities, and I would not even walk out of the Pre-Trial Detention Facility alive».  

Exhausted with interrogations, batteries, threats and sleepless nights, Shvetsov agreed and signed the documents the content of which he was unaware of.  

Then, Shvetsov was taken to the investigator, where he was shown a resolution on initiating a criminal case under Article 131, Part 1 (Rape) and was placed to the Pre-Trial Detention Facility.    

On 5 October, a court hearing was held and a measure of restraint in the form of taking into custody was selected for Shvetsov and sent to Pre-Trial Detention Facility SIZO-1 of Vladikavkaz under charges of rape. 

According to Evgeny, on 8 October, two FSB officers, previously unknown to him, came to the Pre-Trial Detention Facility and took him to a premise on the first floor. They demanded that he told them the password from iCloud storage, as well as signed the documents that Evgeny did not read before that. After the refusal, according to Shvetsov, they started to hit and kick him in the chest, stomach and head, as well as twisted his hands. Having yielded to pain, he signed the document without reading, because they started to beat him up again at the attempt to read it.  

On 12 October, according to Shvetsov, the same two officers came to him again, and told him that, allegedly, the woman who submitted a statement of rape, would withdraw it. 

Due to severe pains in the back and cramps, Shvetsov applied for medical assistance to the Pre-Trial Detention Facility medical station, where the doctor prescribed him anesthetic shots.  

Comment from the CAT lawyer, Ekaterina Vanslova:  
On 11 November, we submitted a report on the crime committed against Shvetsov, to the Military Investigative Department of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Southern Military District. We also intend to submit a claim to perform an agency check with regard to the FSB officers against the use of violence and detaining Shvetsov without making records. Unfortunately, it is hard to conduct a public investigation of such a category of cases in terms of collecting evidence. Shvetsov himself remains at the Pre-Trial Detention Facility with restricted access. The main action at the present time is immediate medical forensic examination for bodily injuries. Taking into account his whereabouts, this action can only be done only during the official investigation.