Givi during the Second Battle of Donetsk Airport.
Nickname(s)"Givi"Born19 July 1980
Ilovaisk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet UnionDied8 February 2017(aged 36)
Donetsk, Ukraine[a]Allegiance Ukraine (1998–2000)
Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)(2014–2017)Service/branch Ukrainian Ground Forces (1998–2000)
Novorossiya Armed Forces (2014–2017)Years of service1998–2000; 2014–2017RankLieutenant colonelCommands held Somalia BattalionBattles/warsWar in Donbass
Battle of Ilovaisk
Second Battle of Donetsk Airport
Battle of Avdiivka (WIA)
In his interview to Komsomolskaya Pravda and other Russian mass-media, Tolstykh claimed that he was from Ilovaisk and served in the Ukrainian Army from 1998 to 2000 before working at a sling rope factory and as a security guard in a supermarket(although Tolstykh said he had speech impediment which barred him from serving in the Ukrainian army). In an interview he stated that his great-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 supposedly in close vicinity.
On February 16, 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.
Mistreatment of prisonersEdit
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 prisoners to eat them. 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.
Early morning on February 8, 2017 while working in his Donetsk office, Tolstykh was killed by an explosion said to be caused by the 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