Conflicts & War

UN probe reveals Russian war crimes, torture, sexual violence in Ukraine

Geneva, Sep 25 (EFE).- A new United Nations probe report Monday highlighted continued war crimes committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine, including civilian harm, sexual and gender-based violence, and attacks on energy infrastructure.

Presented at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine documented numerous attacks on residential buildings, a functional medical facility, a railway station, a restaurant, shops, and commercial warehouses.

“These attacks led to civilian casualties, the damage or destruction of key facilities, and the disruption of essential services and supplies,” said the commission in its latest update.

The commission was established by the Human Rights Council on Mar.4, 2022, to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of human rights, violations of international humanitarian law, and related crimes in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Its probe in Kherson and Zaporizhzhia indicated widespread and systematic use of torture by Russian armed forces against persons accused of being informants of the Ukrainian armed forces.

“In some cases, torture was inflicted with such brutality that it caused the death of the victim,” said the update.

One victim who endured electric shocks during interrogations described the experience as feeling like an eternity.

The report further detailed instances of Russian soldiers allegedly committing rape and sexual violence against women aged 19 to 83 in the Kherson region. Family members were often forced to witness these violations in adjacent rooms.

Children have also suffered devastating consequences, with the commission investigating reported cases of unaccompanied minors being transferred to Russia by Russian authorities.

The report expressed concerns about allegations of genocide in Ukraine, particularly regarding rhetoric in Russian state and other media that may incite genocide, and the commission continues to investigate such matters.

The commission is investigating the cause of the breach of the Nova Kakhovka dam in January this year and its impact on the civilian population.

The dam burst due to a suspected explosion, releasing streams of floodwater in the region, home to millions of people on either side of the Dnieper River.

The commission will submit reports of its activities to the UN General Assembly in October 2023 and to the UN Human Rights Council in March 2024. EFE


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