War crimes were committed in Ukraine, says a UN-mandated inquiry – National

War crimes such as rape, torture and imprisonment of children were committed in the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, the head of a United Nations investigative agency said on Friday.

Ukraine and its Western allies have claimed a litany of abuses by Russian soldiers since the February 24 invasion, but Moscow denies this as a smear campaign.

“Based on the evidence collected by the commission, it has come to the conclusion that war crimes were being committed in Ukraine,” Erik Mose, who heads the commission of inquiry into Ukraine, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

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Uncovering the evidence of Russian war crimes in eastern Ukraine

He did not specify who is to blame, but the commission has focused on areas previously occupied by Russian forces, such as Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy.

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Investigators from the commission set up by the Human Rights Council in March visited 27 sites and interviewed more than 150 victims and witnesses.

They found evidence of a large number of executions, including corpses with their hands tied, throats cut and gunshot wounds to the head, Moses said.

He said investigators had identified victims of sexual violence between the ages of four and 82. While some Russian soldiers have used sexual violence as a strategy, the commission “did not establish a general pattern in that direction,” Moses added.

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Russia denies intentionally targeting civilians during its so-called “military special operation”.

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Russia was asked to respond to the allegations at the council meeting, but its seat remained vacant. There was no immediate official reaction from Moscow.

Next, the commission will turn its attention to allegations of “filtration camps” in Russian-held territories to process Ukrainian prisoners, as well as allegations of forced human transfers and the adoption of Ukrainian children in Russia.

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Ukraine and some other nations asked the commission to also investigate a mass gravesite near Izium in eastern Ukraine, where hundreds of bodies were found.

“If left unanswered,[Russia’s violations]will drag us into a dark world of impunity and permissiveness,” Ukraine’s envoy Anton Korynevych told the council via video link.

Sometimes investigations initiated by the Council can be used before national and international courts, as in the case of a former Syrian intelligence officer who was jailed in Germany in January on state-sponsored torture charges.

Moses said he was in touch with the International Criminal Court regarding the findings of the commission. The panel is due to submit a full report to the Council at the end of its term in March 2023, including recommendations on how to hold perpetrators accountable.

https://globalnews.ca/news/9151266/russia-ukraine-war-crimes-un/ War crimes were committed in Ukraine, says a UN-mandated inquiry – National


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