|Born||19 July 1980|
Ilovaisk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union
|Died||8 February 2017 (aged 36)|
|Allegiance||Donetsk People's Republic (2014–2017)|
|Service/|| Ukrainian Ground Forces (1998–2000)|
Donbass People's Militia (2014)
DPR 1st Army Corps (2014–2017)
|Years of service||1998–2000; 2014–2017|
|Commands held||Somalia Battalion|
Mikhail Sergeyevich Tolstykh (Ukrainian: Михайло Сергійович Толстих, Russian: Михаи́л Сергéевич Толсты́х; 19 July 1980 – 8 February 2017), better known by his nom de guerre Givi (Ги́ви), was a Ukrainian separatist officer and accused of war crimes. He was mainly known as the commander of the Donetsk People's Republic's Somalia Battalion of the Separatist Forces in the war in Donbas from 2014, until his death in early 2017.
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In his interview to Komsomolskaya Pravda, Tolstykh said he was from Ilovaisk and served as a conscript in the Ukrainian Army from 1998 to 2000 at a military training center, and wanted to continue in the army as a voluntary soldier after 2000 but was denied due to his speech impediment. He then worked at a sling rope factory and as a security guard in a supermarket. In an interview he stated that his grandfather was an ethnic Georgian; his nickname Givi is Georgian.
Tolstykh joined the rebels in the early stages of the war and was involved in the Battle of Ilovaisk. Givi led the DPR Somalia Battalion in the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport. The Telegraph wrote a brief article about him where he gives interview to Novorossiya TV, during which an explosion took place in close vicinity.
On 16 February 2015, Tolstykh was included by the European Council in their sanctions list. In 2016, he was charged in Ukraine with crimes including the creation of a terrorist organization, abduction, and abuse of prisoners of war.
Treatment of prisoners
In January 2015, several videos surfaced of Tolstykh physically abusing captured Ukrainian artillerymen from the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport. Tolstykh is seen clearly identifying himself before grabbing the prisoners by the face, brandishing a dagger, and cutting off military insignia and forcing prisoners to eat them. Oleksandra Matviychuk, head of the Kyiv-based Center for Civil Liberties, called what appears in the videos "flagrant violations of the Geneva Conventions" and said she was preparing the groundwork for prosecution.
Early in the morning of 8 February 2017, while working in his Donetsk office, Tolstykh was killed by an explosion said to be caused by an RPO-A Shmel rocket launcher fired from an unknown distance. DPR officials accused Ukrainian forces of carrying out the attack, while Ukrainian security officials claimed it to be the result of DPR infighting. In 2022 journalist Yuriy Butusov claimed that Tolstykh was killed by a counter-intelligence unit of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) which was approved by then-president Petro Poroshenko.
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Source: "Mikhail Tolstykh", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mikhail_Tolstykh.
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Donetsk People's Republic
Russian people's militias in Ukraine
War in Donbas (2014–2022)
Luhansk People's Republic
Battle of Ilovaisk
Battle of Horlivka
Second Battle of Donetsk Airport
Battle of Debaltseve
Battle of Marinka (2015)
- ^ "Militant Konsul killed; Givi wounded near Avdiivka, - militants' websites". Censor.NET. 5 February 2017. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
- ^ "Separatist commander Mikhail Tolstykh, 'Givi', killed in eastern Ukraine". Archived from the original on 2019-04-30. Retrieved 2023-01-15.
- ^ "Who needs witnesses of Russian war crimes in Donbas eliminated?". Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group.
- ^ "Witness relates how Motorola killed 'cyborg' Ihor Branovytsky | ZMINA". zmina.info. 20 April 2015.
- ^ Bennetts, Marc. "Separatist leader killed in rocket attack on his office".
- ^ Roth, Andrew (5 October 2014). "In Ukraine, Civilians in Crossfire". New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- ^ a b "Separatist commander Mikhail Tolstykh, 'Givi', killed in eastern Ukraine". CBA News. CBC. 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 2019-04-30. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
- ^ Zhukova, O. Givi: I was taught to battle by Chapayev and Ukraine Archived 2020-04-27 at the Wayback Machine. Komsomolskaya Pravda. 8 February 2017
- ^ "In Donetsk was killed terrorist Givi (В Донецьку вбито терориста Гіві (ОНОВЛЮЄТЬСЯ))". Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2017.
- ^ "Pro-Russian rebels take Ukrainian town". CNN. 2 September 2014. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. Retrieved 5 September 2014.
- ^ "Rebel commander wages fight to the death for east Ukraine airport". Yahoo News. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- ^ "Ukraine: Donetsk fighter unfazed by heavy shelling". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- ^ "Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/241 of 9 February 2015 amending Decision 2014/145/CFSP concerning restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine". EUR-Lex. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
- ^ "Separatist Commander 'Givi' Killed In Eastern Ukraine". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
- ^ Kates, Glenn; Removska, Olena (January 28, 2015). "Disturbing Videos Raise War-Crimes Concerns In Ukraine". Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. Archived from the original on September 10, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2015.
- ^ "В ДНР погиб командир батальона "Сомали" Гиви". Dozhd. 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 2019-12-06. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
- ^ "Key Ukraine rebel commander killed in 'act of terror'". France 24. AFP. 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- ^ "Ukraine conflict: Rebel leader Givi dies in rocket attack". BBC News. 8 February 2017. Archived from the original on 27 April 2020. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
- ^ "Наказ про ліквідацію терориста "Гіві" віддав Порошенко – Юрій Бутусов". 5 канал (in Ukrainian). Retrieved 2022-02-15.
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