GENVE (TBEN) – A team of experts commissioned by the UN’s highest human rights body to investigate human rights violations in Ukraine said Friday that the first investigation revealed evidence of war crimes committed in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago. .
The experts of the Commission of Inquiry into Ukraine, commissioned earlier this year by the Human Rights Council, have so far focused on four regions: Kiev, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy.
They presented their most comprehensive findings to date, citing testimonies of former detainees of beatings, electric shocks and forced nudity in Russian detention centers, and expressing serious concern about executions in the four regions.
“We were struck by the high number of executions in the areas we visited. The commission is currently investigating such deaths in 16 cities and settlements,” said Erik Mose, the commission’s chairman. He said his team had received and documented “credible allegations regarding many more executions”.
The researchers visited 27 towns and settlements, as well as graves and detention and torture centers; more than 150 victims and witnesses interviewed; and met advocacy groups and government officials, he said.
“Based on the evidence collected by the commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine,” Mose said, without specifying who committed which side in the war the alleged crimes.
He said the team had investigated two cases of ill-treatment of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian troops.
Mose said an unspecified number of Russian soldiers have committed crimes of sexual or gender-based violence — with victims ranging in age from 4 to 82.
The commission plans to gradually expand its investigation, covering areas such as allegations of filtration camps for people being detained or deported, the forcible transfer of people and allegations of accelerated adoption of children.