UN-backed independent human rights experts reported that they have found continuing evidence of war crimes committed by Russian forces in their war against Ukraine, including torture – some of it with such “brutality” that it led to death – and rapes of women up to 83 years old.
The commission presented its latest findings in an oral update to the Human Rights Council on Monday, setting out its observations on illegal attacks with explosive weapons, sexual and gender violence and other crimes in the war, which entered its 20th month on Sunday.
“The commission is concerned by continued evidence of war crimes committed by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine during its first term,” commission president Erik Mose told the council, which set up its investigative team in March of the year. passed, a few days after the invasion of Russian forces. The commission is now working under a second term.
In its report, the commission states that Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian region of Kherson, in the south of the country, ““They raped and committed acts of sexual violence against women between the ages of 19 and 83.”
As he elaborated, Often “relatives were kept in an adjoining room, so they were forced to listen to the violations being committed.”
Testimonies of violations by the invading forces are counted in the hundreds in the press. In March, the Kiev Prosecutor General’s Office detailed the prosecution case against Russian snipers who allegedly sexually assaulted a girl and gang-raped her mother in front of her husband.
According to UN investigators, the main objectives of the torture They were the people accused of being informants for Ukrainian forces, and the mistreatment sometimes included the use of electric shocks, according to the report.
“In some cases, the torture was inflicted with such brutality that it caused the death of the victims”Mose stated.
Members of the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine also expressed concern about allegations of genocide by Russian forces, and said they are investigating them. The team said its evidence showed crimes committed by both sides, but that Russian forces committed far more – and larger – abuses than Ukrainian troops.
No Russian representative was present in the large room at the UN office in Geneva where the Council was meeting to hear Mose’s comments. Last year, the U.N. General Assembly in New York stripped Russia of its seat in the 47-member body to show its opposition to President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Speaking to reporters, Experts said they have not received any response from the Russian side, while there was “considerable cooperation” from the Ukrainian side, Mose said.
Pablo de Greiff, a member of the Commission, told journalists that their work would improve if they had better access to information from the Russian side.
“We want to exercise our impartiality in the most exhaustive way possible”de Greiff declared.
Investigators are drawing up a list of alleged perpetrators, which “will be submitted in due course to the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” he declared.
The team, he said, has also urged Ukrainian authorities to “quickly and thoroughly investigate the few cases of violations committed by their own forces.”
(With information from AP, EFE and AFP)