‘War crimes have been committed’ in Ukraine, say UN investigators
“Based on the evidence collected by the commission, it concluded that war crimes had been committed in Ukraine” since the invasion by Russia in February, affirmed, Friday, Erik Mose, the president of the commission of inquiry of the UN on Ukraine launched in March by the Human Rights Council, during a an early oral account that lists Russian bombardments of civilian areas, numerous executions, torture, ill-treatment and sexual violence.
During investigations in the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions, the commission visited 27 cities and towns and interviewed more than 150 victims and witnesses, said its chairman, Erik Mose. He also said:
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.
The bodies found share 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 of civilian areas.
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”insisted 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 have been forced to witness these crimes. In the cases investigated by the commission, the ages of victims of sexual or gender-based violence ranged from 4 to 82 years. The commission also documented cases where children had been raped, tortured and unlawfully confined. “Children have also been killed and injured in indiscriminate explosive weapon attacks”denounced Mr. Mose.