Experts hired by the top UN human rights body to investigate human rights abuses in Ukraine said their first probe uncovered evidence of war crimes following Russia’s invasion of the country seven months ago.
Members of the commission of inquiry into Ukraine commissioned by the Human Rights Council earlier this year have so far focused on four regions – Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy.
They presented their most comprehensive findings yet, citing testimonies from former inmates about beatings, electric shocks and enforced nudity in Russian detention centers and expressing grave concern about executions in the four regions.
“We were struck by the large number of executions in the areas we visited. The commission is currently investigating such deaths in 16 towns and settlements,” said Erik Mose, the chair of the commission.
He added that his team has received and is documenting “credible allegations of many more instances of executions.”
Investigators visited 27 towns and settlements, as well as graves, detention and torture centers, interviewed more than 150 victims and witnesses, and met with stakeholders and government officials.
“Based on the evidence collected by the commission, it has come to the conclusion that war crimes were being committed in Ukraine,” Mr Moses said.
He said the team investigated two cases of mistreatment of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces.
Mr Moses said an unspecified number of Russian soldiers had committed crimes of sexual or gender-based violence – with victims ranging in age from four to 82.
The commission plans to gradually expand its investigation, with areas of interest including allegations of filtration camps for people who are detained or deported, the forced relocation of people and allegations of accelerated child adoption.
https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/evidence-found-of-war-crimes-committed-in-ukraine-experts-say-42011719.html Evidence found of war crimes committed in Ukraine, experts say