UN commission confirms war crimes in Ukraine

Investigators in Kharkiv

Many war crimes were committed in areas temporarily occupied by Russian troops.

(Photo: dpa)

Geneva The Scale of War Crimes in the Ukraine is becoming increasingly clear. A United Nations (UN) commission of inquiry presented interim results of its investigations into Russia's war of aggression on Friday: The crimes include the illegal use of explosive weapons in densely populated areas, indiscriminate military attacks, executions, torture, abuse, and sexual and gender violence.

The chairman of the commission, the Norwegian judge Erik Mose, emphasized before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva: "We are concerned about the suffering that the international armed conflict in Ukraine has brought to the civilian population." Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions. Based on the evidence gathered, the commission "concluded that war crimes were being committed in Ukraine," the chairman said.

Moses added that the commission is currently investigating executions in 16 towns and settlements and has received credible allegations of many more such cases. "We were amazed at the large number of executions in the areas we visited." The victims were previously detained and bear visible signs of execution: hands tied behind their backs, gunshot wounds to the head and slit throats.

Witnesses unanimously told the commission about ill-treatment and torture during detention. Some of the victims testified that they were trafficked to Russia after being arrested in Ukraine. They were detained there for weeks and subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

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The investigators also documented rapes by "some soldiers of the Russian Federation". The ages of the victims of sexual and gender-based violence ranged from “four to 82 years”.

Russia denies war crimes

According to the commission, children in particular suffer from the Russian attack. They experience explosions, are injured, are forcibly relocated and separated from family members. According to earlier UN investigations, the occupiers are kidnapping Ukrainian children Russia.

The commission also documented two cases of mistreatment of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian units. "While there are few such cases, the Commission is still dealing with them," it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had his army invade Ukraine on February 24. Officially, the Russian side denies all war crimes. Commission chairman Moses stated, "We tried to contact Russian authorities." However, Moses was unsuccessful.

The Commission collects evidence on crimes in Ukraine on behalf of the Human Rights Council. In March 2023 she wants to present her final report, which could be used in possible war crimes trials. In addition, other cross-border Ukraine investigations are being conducted, for example by the International Criminal Court.

More: "Russia leaves death everywhere": Isjum awakens memories of Bucha

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