Occupants could have simply shot Berdiansk schoolchildren: what is known about the deaths of Tyhran Ohannisyan and Mykyta Khanganov

Russian occupants killed teenagers in Berdiansk: what is known

In the temporarily occupied Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia region, Russian invaders are conducting searches in the homes of the relatives of the deceased teenagers Tyhran Ohannisyan and Mykyta Khanganov. The bodies of the schoolchildren are still in the morgue, and their relatives were only allowed to identify them. Tyhran and Mykyta had bullet wounds on their bodies.

Read more about this in the OBOZREVATEL article.

There are many unknowns in the story

The story of the murder of two teenagers, 16-year-old Tyhran Ohannisyan and Mykyta Khanganov, on 24 June in the temporarily occupied Berdiansk, Zaporizhzhia region, became known just half an hour after the tragedy.

Some video of the shooting appeared in Berdiansk publics. Later, a representative of the occupation authorities, Vladimir Rogov, said that a Ukrainian partisan, 16-year-old Tyhran Ohannisyan, had been killed. Later, the name of the second victim, Mykyta Khanganov, became known.


The boys were accused of killing a soldier and a collaborator policeman.

Olga Reshetylova, co-founder of the Media Initiative for Human Rights, which has been following the story of the Berdiansk teenagers for several months, says that it is not really known why Tyhran and Mykyta died. All the information was provided by the occupation authorities, which cannot be trusted.

"Now we know that nothing is really known. It is difficult to get reliable information from the occupied territory. We cannot trust the occupiers' version either," Reshetylova emphasises.

Tortured with electricity and shot

On the night of 30 September last year, the occupiers abducted Tyhran Ohannisyan in Berdiansk. For several days, his grandmother, with whom he lived, and his mother (she is now in Germany, where her younger daughter is undergoing treatment) did not know what happened to the teenager.


At that time, the Russians tortured the schoolboy. They beat him, took him to a field and imitated an execution, tortured him with electric shocks. Only on 5 October, the boy was released. His friend Mykyta was not found that time - his family was not at home.

Two weeks later, the 'investigators' came to Mykyta's house and took him and his father for interrogation. Then they released him.

Since then, the schoolchildren have been obliged to report to the 'police'. The houses where they lived were searched, during which the occupiers beat both Tyhran and his elderly grandmother with rifle butts. They accused the boys of preparing sabotage on the railway and wanted to put them on trial.

Human rights activists raised the alarm, but no one helped

Tyhran, who spent several days in the torture chambers of the Russian occupiers, told his family that he would not stand such an ordeal a second time.

Tyhran's mother and stepfather tried to take their son out of the occupied territory, and they returned to Berdiansk from Germany. However, when they were travelling back by car, they were detained in Taganrog. They interrogated him and demanded that Tyhran return because a case had been opened against him.


The case file was about to be sent to court, and the boys faced up to 20 years in prison.

"We appealed to the international community to help rescue Tyhran and Mykyta, to bring them to the government-controlled territory of Ukraine or to any third country where they would be safe.

There was a resolution of the European Parliament, which appealed to the International Red Cross and the UN to help the Ukrainian teenagers. But we are not aware of any reaction from these organisations. The responsibility for the deaths of the teenagers lies with these organisations.

For nine months, the boys were pursued by the occupiers, who put pressure on them, but no one helped them. The Ukrainian authorities and the office of the Ombudsman were aware of this, but we were told that this was an occupied territory and they had no way to help," Reshetylova said.


"We do not rule out extrajudicial execution"

In recent days, the pressure on the teenagers has increased. They were charged with preparing a sabotage. This meant arrest and trial.

"A week before the tragedy, an investigator with an armed escort came to the teenagers' home, presumably to arrest them. But both of them managed to escape from the house and were hiding for several days. On Saturday, 24 June, they returned in the morning and the investigator immediately came to see them. Tyhran had a long conversation with the investigator, about what we do not know.

In the evening, Tyhran and Mykyta went for a walk in the city. About half an hour before the tragedy, my mother was talking to Tyhran on the phone. He was calm, they were talking about meeting soon. There was nothing to suggest that Tyhran was preparing any actions that could endanger his life," Reshetylova says.

And within half an hour, reports of a shootout began to appear in local publics in Berdiansk. Then the famous video appeared, in which Tyhran says goodbye and says: "Glory to Ukraine".


"We don't know what provoked the shooting and how it happened. According to information from their relatives, the guys were killed by snipers. They shot to kill, there were no preventive shots. Many questions arise, and we do not rule out an extrajudicial execution. But only an independent expert examination can finally establish all this," Reshetylova said.

Teenagers in danger under occupation

All the relatives of the victims are now under pressure, and their homes are being searched. The night after the murder of the teenagers, the investigator interrogated Mykyta's mother for several hours.

Now, in all the occupied cities - Mariupol, Berdiansk, Melitopol - the invaders are checking teenagers, they are all in terrible danger.

We will find out exactly what happened to Tyhran and Mykyta after the de-occupation of Berdiansk and the investigation. Whether the boys actually attacked someone, or whether they were driven to despair by the threat of being arrested and subjected to terrible torture and decided to defend themselves, or whether they were executed in this way, is currently impossible to say.

What is known about the students is that they wanted to become military men. Tyhran loved to read historical literature. They were both leaders at school. Neighbours have only good things to say about them.

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