A Nightmarish New Report

A Nightmarish New Report

A Nightmarish New Report – According to a new UN-backed report released on Thursday, Russia committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during its year-long invasion of Ukraine.


A 14-year-old boy was executed in cold blood.


Sexual violence has been perpetrated on girls as young as four and women as old as 82. A priest was brutally beaten, stripped naked, and forced to parade through his village’s streets naked for an hour.


These are among the terrifying findings of a new UN-backed report released Thursday, which claims Russia committed war crimes and possibly crimes against humanity during its year-long invasion of Ukraine.


The three international experts appointed to serve as investigators for the Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine concluded that Russia violated grave international humanitarian and human rights laws.


Torture, unlawful confinement, summary executions, and rape were among the crimes committed, as were indiscriminate bombings of civilian areas and targeted attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.


“The Commission is concerned about the number, geographic spread, and gravity of human rights violations and related international crimes that it has documented during its mandate,” the investigators wrote in their report. “These have affected men, women, boys, and girls of all ages and backgrounds.”


The report is unlikely to have any practical impact on Russia, but it will increase pressure on the International Criminal Court to hold the country accountable.


At the very least, the report serves as a historical record of Russia’s abuses, which did not cooperate with the investigation.


“They punished innocent people; now those who are guilty, if they are still alive, need to be punished to the fullest extent,” said one man whose father was executed by members of the Russian military in a village in the Kharkiv region.


The investigators also discovered a few instances of Ukrainians breaking international law, either by using cluster munitions and rocket-delivered antipersonnel land mines, or by torturing at least two Russian military personnel.


The investigators interviewed 595 people and travelled to Ukraine eight times, visiting 56 cities, towns, and settlements. They met with victims and refugees who had fled to other European countries, and they examined evidence of death and destruction in places like Bucha and Mariupol that have drawn international attention for the horrors that have occurred there.


They discovered that at least 68 people, including two women and a 14-year-old boy, had been summarily executed by Russians during the first few months of the war. The majority of the victims were killed by gunshots to the head.


Russian forces also targeted civilians indiscriminately, firing at them as they attempted to flee, whether on foot or in cars with “Children” signs in the windows.


When the Russian military took over Ukrainian territory, they frequently detained men of fighting age, as well as officials, journalists, power plant workers, and other influential people. Some were detained on suspicion of assisting opposition forces, while others were detained solely for supporting Ukraine. Detainees were imprisoned in overcrowded prison cells, police stations, or basements, with at least one person held for more than nine months.


“In one case, ten elderly people died as a result of inhumane conditions in a school basement, while other detainees, including children, were forced to share the same space with the bodies of the deceased,” investigators wrote.


Torture was also used against many detainees, who were beaten, electrocuted, suffocated with plastic bags, hung upside down, or forced to endure extreme cold weather.


According to one survivor, they were beaten as a “punishment for speaking Ukrainian” and for “not remembering the lyrics of the Russian Federation’s anthem.”


Investigators discovered that Russian forces frequently used rape as a weapon of war against detainees or civilians during home searches. According to the report, one pregnant woman begged in vain to be spared from being raped, only to miscarry a few days later.


Thousands of detainees, including children, have also been transported to Russia against their will. Some of these children have since been granted Russian citizenship and placed with foster families, making it unlikely that they will ever return to Ukraine.


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