There have been war crimes in Ukraine. This is the conclusion of the investigation report unveiled by the UN on Friday, September 23.
During the investigations in the Kyiv, Cherniguiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions, the commission visited 27 towns and settlements and interviewed over 150 victims and witnessesexplained its chairman, Erik Mose, during a first oral report to the Council.
And, he said, “Based on the evidence collected by the Commission, it concluded that war crimes were committed in Ukraine”, listing Russian bombings of civilian areas, numerous executions, torture and ill-treatment as well as sexual violence.
Slit throats, bullets in the head, hands tied behind the back
“We were struck by the large number of executions in the regions we visited. The Commission is currently investigating these deaths in 16 cities and locations. We have received credible allegations regarding many other cases of executions, which we are in the process of documenting,” Mr. Mose said.
The bodies found have the common characteristics of having visible signs of executions, such as hands tied behind their backs, gunshot wounds to the head or slit throats.
Mr. Mose also denounced the Russian bombardments on civilian areas.
Torture and rape of children and the elderly
In addition, witnesses, he said, provided consistent accounts of ill-treatment and torturewhich were perpetrated during their unlawful detention.
Some of the victims reported that after an initial detention by Russian forces in Ukraine, they were transferred to Russia and held for weeks in prisons.
“Interlocutors described beatings, electric shocks and forced nudity, as well as other types of violations in these places of detention”underlined Mr. Mose, who also notes that after being transferred to detention in Russia, some victims would have disappeared.
Cases of sexual violence have also been reported to UN investigators. In some cases, relatives were forced to witness these crimes.
In the cases investigated by the commission, the ages of victims of sexual or gender-based violence ranged from four to 82 years.
The commission has also documented cases where children have been raped, tortured and unlawfully confined. “Children have also been killed and injured in indiscriminate explosive weapon attacks”denounced Mr. Mose.
He also briefly indicated that the commission had had to deal with two cases of ill-treatment inflicted on Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces.
“Although few in number, these cases continue to be the focus of our attention,” he assured.