A United Nations commission of inquiry has found evidence that Russian forces committed war crimes in Ukraine, citing acts of torture, sexual violence or bombing of civilian areas, the UN announced on Friday, September 23, Deutsche Welle reports.
“Based on the evidence gathered by the commission, it has concluded that war crimes were committed in Ukraine,” the head of the commission of inquiry told the UN Human Rights Council.
The commission was established in May to investigate allegations of war crimes, and so far investigators have focused on the Kyiv, Kharkiv, Sumy and Chernihiv areas.
“We were shocked by the large number of executions in the areas we visited. Currently, the commission is investigating such deaths in 16 cities and towns,” said Erik Mose, president of the commission.
What the UN investigators found in Ukraine
UN investigators spoke to more than 150 victims and witnesses and visited 27 cities and settlements where they investigated graves as well as detention and torture centers. They presented testimonies from former detainees in Russian detention centers about beatings, the use of electric shocks or forced nudity.
At the same time, Erik Mose stated that evidence has been identified of an unspecified number of Russian soldiers who committed acts of sexual or gender-based violence, with their victims ranging in age from 4 to 82 years old.
The UN representatives also report that “Russia’s use of wide-area explosive weapons in populated areas is a source of immense harm and suffering to civilians” and that a number of attacks “were carried out without distinguishing between civilians and combatants”. In these attacks, “cluster munitions or multiple launch missile systems” were also used and there were “air strikes in populated areas”, the investigators also specify.
At the same time, the UN team investigated two cases of mistreatment of Russians by Ukrainian soldiers.
“Tomorrow (September 24 – no) marks seven months since the start of hostilities in Ukraine. We are concerned about the suffering that the international armed conflict in Ukraine has brought to the civilian population”, states the UN commission.
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Source From: Libertatea