War crimes committed in Ukraine were confirmed on Friday by Erik Mose, chairman of the UN commission of inquiry into Ukraine. He also noted that the commission did not yet have evidence to state whether crimes against humanity were also committed, the Reuters agency reported.
Speaking to the Geneva-based Human Rights Council, Mose announced that, on the basis of the evidence gathered, the Commission “concluded that war crimes had been committed in Ukraine”. He noted that children were raped, tortured and imprisoned in the territories of Ukraine occupied by Russia. Commission member Pablo de Greiff told reporters that the team “discovered two cases of mistreatment of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian soldiers.” – Of course, a much larger number of cases that constitute war crimes have been reported on the side of the Russian Federation – he added.
The UN representative also indicated that the commission under his leadership was planning to investigate the mass grave, which was discovered near Iziumu in eastern Ukraine, liberated from Russian occupation. His speech follows investigations in Kiev, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy, where the commission visited 27 sites and heard over 150 victims and witnesses.
Victims of sexual violence ranged from 4 to 82 years old
The commission’s report mentions several areas where Russian actions have been particularly cruel, including indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas, executions, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence.
– The use of weapons by Russia with a huge scale of destruction in densely populated areas is a source of enormous damage and suffering to the civilian population – the commission said. She added that a number of attacks “were made without distinction between civilians and combatants”, including the use of “cluster munitions or missile systems and raids on populated areas”.
There were “consistent reports of ill-treatment and torture” from victims on the Ukrainian side, some of whom claimed to have been taken to detention centers in Russia where they had been held for weeks, and some have gone missing.
The commission also presented testimonies of beatings, electric shocks and clothes being stripped from former prisoners of Russian detention centers.
The chairman of the commission said it found evidence of an unspecified number of Russian soldiers who committed sexual or gender-based crimes. The age of their victims ranged from 4 to 82 years.
“The Commission has documented cases where children have been raped, tortured and unlawfully detained,” the statement said.
Main photo source: PAP / Mykola Kalyeniak