- The UN has released a new report outlining the crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- The report details war crimes, including the torture and rape of civilians, and the deportation of children.
- The invasion created more refugees and displaced more people than the world has seen since World War II.
More than a year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a new report by the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry into Ukraine has found evidence of war crimes, including the systematic rape, torture and murder of civilians and indiscriminate attacks on infrastructure. which have displaced millions.
According to the United Nations, more people have fled Ukraine or been internally displaced since the start of the war than the world has seen since World War II.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that as of February 21, around eight million Ukrainian refugees have been displaced across Europe, around 90% of whom are women and children. Additionally, there are approximately 5.4 million people currently displaced across Ukraine who remain in the country.
“Almost 18 million people in Ukraine are in need of humanitarian assistance and face particularly harsh conditions during the winter months,” the report said. “The conflict has impacted on people’s right to health, education, adequate housing, food and water. Some vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, people persons with disabilities and persons belonging to minorities, have been particularly affected, and no region of the country has been spared by the conflict.
As of February 15, OHCHR had recorded 8,006 civilians killed and 13,287 injured in Ukraine since the invasion began on February 24 last year, although the report said officials believe the actual numbers are “significantly higher”.
To complement its report, members of the UN commission visited 56 communities affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and conducted interviews with 348 women and 247 men. Investigators reported seeing “destruction sites, graves, places of detention and torture, as well as remnants of weapons,” according to a UN statement emailed to Insider.
The report notes that two cases of alleged war crimes committed by Ukrainian forces were investigated, but evidence suggests that “Russian authorities have committed a wide range of violations of international human rights law.” human rights and international humanitarian law in many parts of Ukraine and the Russian Federation,” according to the report, including “wilful killings, attacks on civilians, unlawful detention, torture, rape and forced transfers and deportations of children”.
“They punished innocent people; now, those who are guilty, if they are still alive, must be punished to the maximum,” a man, whose father was executed by the Russian armed forces in the Izium region, told members of the commission. : according to a UN statement emailed to Insider.
The International Criminal Court, a tribunal based in The Hague, Netherlands, issued an international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin on Friday, accusing the Russian leader of war crimes and calling for him to stand trial – although he is unlikely to do so, as Russia, like the United States, does not recognize the authority of the ICC.
Because of his inability to control the military who committed these acts, Putin is allegedly responsible for the war crime of forcibly deporting children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, the ICC said in a statement on Friday.
A State Department spokesperson told Insider “there is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and we have made it clear that those responsible must be held accountable.”
ICC and State Department officials did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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