The UN International Commission collected evidence and concluded that the Russian occupiers are committing war crimes in Ukraine. About it declared at a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Eric Meuse, head of the commission, which was previously assigned to investigate the events of the early stage of the Russian invasion at the end of February and in March 2022 in the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions.
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He clarified that they have so far “mainly” focused on the events in these four areas: they visited 27 cities and towns, interviewed more than 150 victims and witnesses, examined the places of destruction, graves, places of detention of people and torture, as well as the remains of weapons, got acquainted with lots of documents and reports.
UN experts are convinced that the Russians:
→ fought in populated areas;
→ carried out indiscriminate attacks without distinction between civilians and military;
→ used sexual and gender-based violence.
“We were struck by the large number of executions. The Commission is investigating such cases in 16 cities and towns. We have received credible allegations of many other executions. Common elements of these crimes include pre-trial detention of victims, visible signs of execution on the bodies, such as hands tied behind the back, gunshot wounds to the head and throat slashed,” Möse added.
See also: Bucha, Borodyanka, Izyum are the echo of Nuremberg that everyone should hear: ICC prosecutor
The interlocutors, he noted, told the UN experts about beatings, torture with electric current and forced to undress, as well as other types of violations in places of detention. Some of the victims have disappeared, the official added.
“The commission found that some Russian servicemen committed sexual violence, torture, cruel and inhuman treatment. There are examples of cases where relatives were forced to witness crimes. The commission documented cases of rape, torture and illegal detention of children,” the official said.
He added that in the cases they investigated the age of victims of sexual and gender-based violence ranged from four to 82 years.
See also: Genocide in Izyum. As with Bucha, the Kremlin called the war crimes of its army “lies”
Möse assured that the commission will continue and expand the investigation, including on the following topics:
→ filtration camps of invaders;
→ forced displacement of people;
→ illegal adoption of captured Ukrainian children;
→ destruction of civilian infrastructure;
→ appropriation or destruction of economic resources;
→ violations of the right to food;
→ legitimacy of changes in local administration, which can have far-reaching consequences.
A UN official said they were “concerned about the suffering” inflicted on the civilian population and the recent discovery of new graves “illustrate the seriousness of the situation.” Möse called it not a Russian war against Ukraine, but an “armed conflict in Ukraine.”
He said that “attempts to establish a constructive dialogue with the authorities of the Russian Federation, unfortunately, have not yet been crowned with success,” and added that they will be “persistent in our efforts.”
See also: Blinken at the UN Security Council: The world order is collapsing. Putin must be punished
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