Craig Lang, Ex-US Soldier, Investigated For Ukraine Actions

Rickert told the DOJ he also has a video of Lang beating and drowning a woman to whom Fischer injected adrenaline to keep her from passing out. According to Rickert, another foreign boxer videotaped the incident. Fischer’s whereabouts are not known and he could not be reached for comment.

Pirtle told investigators, according to DOJ documents, that Rickert filmed several interrogations and uploaded videos to his Google account, including one in which a man was detained, throwing to the bathroom counter and was beaten with a sock filled with ice. According to Pirtle, the man is believed to have fought with Russian-backed forces. Pirtle told investigators he saw Lang punch and push the man, demanding his password to the Facebook account because Lang thought it was holding information on pro-Russian fighters.

Pirtle’s family members said he returned to the US in the spring of 2016 because he was tired of the poor living conditions in eastern Ukraine and worried about “someone doing terrible things”. That person, the family said, was Lang. Pirtle, according to family members, emailed them explaining that “things are going downhill and he doesn’t want to be a part of it.”

Morhun, Lang’s attorney, did not directly respond to these allegations or any specific allegations, saying that “to deny or confirm any allegations, they must be brought forward” and because the DOJ has not yet given evidence to him or Lang, “we are talking assumptions, and that makes no sense to comment.”

The DOJ appears to have obtained and viewed that video and others, writing in the appeal that investigators received subpoenas allowing them to search Google accounts and emails that appear to belong to Rickert.

“In the first video, LANG’s voice is heard asking the man for his password from a social media account,” the DOJ wrote. “After the man refused to give LANG his password, someone said behind the scenes, ‘You need to beat him.’ LANG hit the man several times with his knee in the stomach and head, throwing him to the floor, where he writhed in pain. ”

The second video, according to the DOJ, “shows a Ukrainian man repeatedly hitting a man with something hard in a sock in his cell. After this blow, someone similar to RICKERT entered the bathroom and asked for the man’s password. Then you can see how RICKERT punches the man in the back.”

Rickert and Pirtle’s accounts with the DOJ, and the agency’s description of the video, closely match what BuzzFeed News was told by an American fighter in Ukraine who knew members of Task Force Pluto and described them as “passionate about death and torture. It also matches a screenshot of a video this reporter watched that shows a man who appears to be Lang standing over a seated man tied up in a small room. That scene is also close to the one described by Vice News journalist who interviewed Lang, Rickert, and Pirtle at the Novohrodivka base in 2016. In that story, a man was detained by Right Sector fighters, held in a “shower-only stall” that had turned on. lamp for a week, and beaten with a sock “stuffed with a whetstone.”

Google account data, the DOJ writes, also uncovered multiple images of Rickert, Lang, Pirtle and others handling weapons and explosives in eastern Ukraine, including in “a pre-dug trench.” to fight”.

DOJ documents do not describe any instances in which Kennedy, Kleman, Boyenger and Plaster were actively involved in the abuse of civilians. Plaster, who now runs an NGO in Kyiv that helps Ukraine veterans, said he “keeps his distance from anyone radical” and provides “medical support and training”. sacrifice” for the country’s soldiers during his time on the front lines. Boyenger said, “I have always treated myself with honor and honesty, and as a taxpayer I expect the government to investigate all allegations of misconduct to the fullest extent possible, and I do as well. expect to see the results of their investigation like anyone else. “

The DOJ document also states that US authorities believe Lang and Kennedy, after their stay in the United States, “returned to Ukraine with the intent to plan and participate in an armed attack on civilians.” Ukraine. [parliament]”In 2017.

The DOJ said in the document that US authorities in Kyiv received reports around March 14, 2017, that Lang was detained when he arrived at the Ukrainian airport because authorities “found a something similar to a rifle with a silencer and a full cartridge” on him.

Kennedy told BuzzFeed News that he never planned any such attack on the Ukrainian parliament building, calling the allegation “bullshit”. He showed BuzzFeed News his passport, which said he was not in Ukraine at the time the DOJ claimed he was there. But Kennedy did say that Lang told him about being detained at a Ukrainian airport and being found to have gun parts in his luggage. Lang did not respond to questions about the alleged incident.

Kennedy told BuzzFeed News: “I believe the FBI is unfairly punishing us and trying to prosecute us for no real reason other than our involvement in Ukraine.

Kennedy – who also served in the Ukrainian armed forces – said Lang convinced him to join the Right Sector in April 2016 and he only stayed for a few months. “When I didn’t have that happen,” Kennedy said of the alleged war crimes. “We didn’t even take any prisoners the whole time I was there.”

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