UN investigation team concludes there were ‘war crimes in Ukraine’

The UN team of investigators said “war crimes were committed in Ukraine” and listed Russian bombings of civilian areas.

“Based on the evidence that the Commission has collected, we conclude that war crimes were committed in Ukraine,” Erik Mose, the head of the investigative team, told the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday. /9.

UN concludes war crimes in Ukraine

Mr. Erik Mose announced the conclusions of the investigation team to the United Nations on September 23. Video: AFP

The panel was established in May by the Commission of Investigative (COI), the highest level of investigation, to investigate crimes in Russia’s war in Ukraine. The team of three independent experts presented the first survey to the panel, after conducting an initial investigation of the areas in Kiev, Chernihiv, Kharkov and the Sumy region. The group said it would expand the investigation.

The day before Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine turned seven months, Mr. Mose accused “Russia of using explosive weapons to have a large impact in populated areas” which he said was “a source of injury”. death and great impact on the civilian population”.

He highlighted a number of attacks that the investigation team found “was carried out regardless of whether they were civilians or soldiers”, including cluster bomb attacks on residential areas.

The investigation team was “shocked by the large number of executions in the places we have visited” and discovered many “common signs of execution on the body such as handcuffs behind the back, gunshot wounds to the head, neck slits throat”.

Mose said the commission is investigating deaths with these traces in 16 towns and neighborhoods, and has received credible allegations related to many other cases that the commission will file. profile.

Investigators also received “consistent statements about ill-treatment, torture, and unlawful detention.” Some of the victims reported being transported to Russia and held for weeks in prison. Many people have “disappeared” after such moves.

The head of the commission said investigators had “handled two cases of Ukrainian soldiers mistreatment of Russian soldiers”, adding that “despite the small number, we are still interested in these cases”. .

The investigation team also documented a number of cases of sexual and gender-based violence, in which the perpetrators were Russian soldiers. “There have been some cases where relatives were forced to witness crimes. In the cases we investigated, the ages of victims of sexual and gender-based violence ranged from four to 82 years old.”

He said the committee also records a range of crimes against children, including children “who were raped, tortured and illegally detained”.

Ukrainian soldiers use metal detectors to check mass graves in Izyum on September 15.  Photo: AP.

Ukrainian soldiers use metal detectors to check mass graves in Izyum on September 15. Image: AP.

According to the Committee of the Red Cross and International Human Rights Watch, prisoners of war cannot be prosecuted on the grounds that they are directly involved in armed conflict. However, these people can be prosecuted for committing war crimes.

War crimes refer to acts that violate international law while fighting and controlling an opponent’s territory, such as intentionally targeting civilians, attacking hospitals, schools and historical sites. .

Kiev and the West have repeatedly accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine, and pushed for investigative efforts. However, Moscow has repeatedly denied that it committed war crimes or targeted civilians in Ukraine, calling it a “demilitarization, de-fascistization” operation.

Hong Hanh (Theo AFP)

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