The UN accuses Russia of committing war crimes after the invasion of Ukraine

MADRID, Sep. 23 (.) –

The fact-finding mission established by the UN to examine the Ukraine conflict has found that Russian forces have committed war crimes as part of the military offensive that began in February on the orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry into Syria has been “concerned” about the “suffering” that the conflict is inflicting on the civilian population of Ukraine, evidenced by the high number of victims — more than 5,900 dead, according to estimates by the UN– and for committing all kinds of abuses.

“The recent discovery of new graves illustrates the seriousness of the situation,” said the head of the commission, Erik Mose, referring to the mass graves detected in areas such as Izium, one of the towns whose control has recently been regained by Ukrainian forces. .

The experts have visited 27 locations and interviewed more than 150 people to conclude that “war crimes have been committed in Ukraine.” The investigations have focused on the areas of kyiv, Chernigov, Kharkov and Sumi, where they have seen “first-hand” the damage caused by the attacks on civil infrastructure.

Thus, they have confirmed the use of explosive weapons in populated areas –including cluster bombs–, “one of the factors that would explain why a third of the Ukrainian population has been forced to flee, according to Mose. “Most of the attacks we have investigated have been carried out without distinguishing between civilians and combatants,” he said.

The Commission has also confirmed extrajudicial executions and torture of detainees, as evidenced by the fact that some of the bodies located have their hands tied behind their backs, shots to the head or stab wounds to the neck.

In addition, some of the victims have recounted that, after being arrested, they were forcibly transferred to Russia and subjected to all kinds of abuse. Part of them “have disappeared” after this transfer, reads the report known this Friday.

The experts are also examining two cases of ill-treatment of Russian prisoners at the hands of Ukrainian forces. “Although they are fewer in number,” Mose has pointed out that they also pay attention to purging responsibilities on both sides, appealing to the impartiality and independence with which he says the commission works.

Russian forces would also be responsible for sexual crimes against victims ranging from four to 82 years old. The UN group “has documented cases in which minors have been raped, tortured and unlawfully detained.”

Mose specifically thanked the “access” and “cooperation” provided by the Government of Ukraine in the presentation of the report. Instead, he has pointed out that attempts to establish a “constructive dialogue” with the Russian authorities have not prospered, although he has promised to “persist” in having contacts with the two parties.

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