A 35-year-old Russian army sergeant with the call sign “Commander” shot a civilian in the stomach during the occupation of Bucha in Kyiv region, while mocking the wounded man. Prosecutors learned about this, and journalists of Slidstvo.Info identified the occupier.
On 30 April 2023, Ukrainian law enforcement officers served a notice of suspicion of violation of the laws and customs of war during the occupation of Kyiv region to Sergeant Maxim Bilenko, an instructor of the 36th Separate Motorised Rifle Brigade of the Russian Armed Forces.
On 27 March 2022, Bilenko was in the town of Bucha, Kyiv Oblast. The occupier saw an unarmed civilian near his car and shot him in the stomach.
A local resident heard the shot and approached the victim. Bilenko began to brag to other Russian military that he had done it and mocked the wounded man, who was bleeding to death.
The woman begged the Russian military to take the man to hospital. Only after much persuasion did the Russians put the wounded civilian into an armoured personnel carrier and take him to Irpin Central Hospital.
The journalists of Slidstvo.Info identified the Russian occupier by his VKontakte and Odnoklassniki pages.
Sergeant Maxim Bilenko is 35 years old, he lives with his wife and son in the city of Chita, Trans-Baikal Territory of the Russian Federation.
Unlike many of his fellow occupiers, Bilenko is not the first time in Ukraine. The journalists found his old Odnoklassniki page, which indicates his place of residence – Lozova, Ukraine. The occupier’s sister is also from Lozova.
In a joint photo from 2018, he and his family are photographed in the occupied Crimea. There are also photos from a trip to Lviv on Bilenko’s page.
Before Russia’s full-scale invasion, Bilenko led an active lifestyle – he participated in sports competitions, went diving, and travelled.
After the occupation of Ukrainian Crimea, the Russian military officer and his wife regularly visited the peninsula, showing off numerous photos from their holidays.
On his page on the Russian social network VKontakte, Bilenko shows his admiration for dictator Vladimir Putin.
In 2014, when the Russian Federation occupied parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts of Ukraine, Bilenko happily took a photo on a tank with the inscription “To Berlin”.
The occupier also mocks the downing of a passenger plane by the Russian occupiers near Donetsk, which killed 298 people.
Maxim Bilenko is fond of the famous game of tanks. Perhaps the occupier wanted to bring his virtual hobby to life, so he came to kill the civilian population of Ukraine.
The occupier’s wife, Maria Kukharchuk, actively publishes propaganda videos with the Russian military on her page.
A week before the full-scale invasion, the woman took part in a military sports game that simulates combat operations.
The occupier regularly visits his VKontakte page. It is currently unknown whether he is still fighting in Ukraine. For his crimes, Maxim Bilenko is facing imprisonment for a term of 8 to 12 years (Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine).