Mikhail Sergeyevich Tolstykh, better known by his callsign Givi (Ги́ви), is a commander in the pro-Russian "Somalia Battalion" (Russian: Батальон Сомали) in the War in Donbass. In an online interview, Givi claimed that he is from Ilovaisk and served in the Ukrainian Army from 1998 to 2000 before working at a sling rope factory and as a rent-a-guard in a supermarket. In an interview he stated that his great-grandfather was an ethnic Georgian.
He 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. He received widespread fame in October 2014 when a video of him ignoring a rocket artillery strike landing near enough to him for shrapnel to fall at his feet was uploaded to YouTube and gained over 1,000,000 views.
On February 16, 2015, Mikhail Tolstykh was included by the European Council in the sanctions list.
Mistreatment of prisoners
In January 2015, several videos surfaced of Tolstykh physically abusing prisoners captured at 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 them into the prisoners' mouths. Oleksandra Matviychuk, head of the Kiev-based Center for Civil Liberties, calls what appears in the videos "flagrant violations of the Geneva Conventions" and says she is preparing the groundwork for prosecution.
Source: wikipedia.org, timenote.info
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