Ukrainian authorities consider more than 97,000 war crimes reports and brought charges against 220 suspects in domestic courts.
Large numbers of prisoners held in makeshift camps in Russian-occupied southern Ukraine were subjected to torture and sexual abuse, said 2 August, a group of international experts, summarizing their latest conclusions.
This is reported by Reuters.
Ukrainian authorities are investigating more than 97,000 reports of war crimes and have indicted 220 suspects in national courts. High-ranking criminals can be tried at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which has already requested the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin has consistently denied accusations of war crimes in Ukraine by forces participating in a “special military operation” that, according to Moscow, was launched with the aim of “denazification”. its neighbor and protection from Russia.
The latest report of the Mobile Justice Group, funded by Great Britain, the European Union and the United States, analyzed 320 cases and testimonies in 35 settlements of the Kherson region.
Of the examined testimonies of the victims, “43% directly mentioned the practice of torture in places of detention, calling sexual violence a common tactic applied to them by Russian guards”, — the message says.
In June, the Ukrainian prosecutor's office opened the first case in connection with the alleged deportation of dozens of orphans from Kherson, accusing a Russian politician and two suspected Ukrainian collaborators of war crimes . They had no immediate comment on the latest torture findings.
At the beginning of 2022, the Ukrainian authorities announced that about 200 people were allegedly illegally detained. Survivors told Reuters of tactics that included electrocution and strangulation.
At the time, the Kremlin and Russia's defense ministry did not respond to questions from Reuters, including about alleged torture. and illegal detentions.
“The true scale of Russia's war crimes remains unknown”, — said Anna Mykytenko, senior legal advisor of Global Rights Compliance, commenting on the latest data on torture.
“But what we can say for sure is that the psychological consequences of these brutal crimes for the Ukrainian people will be etched in their minds for many years”, — she added.
At least 36 victims interviewed by prosecutors recalled being electrocuted during interrogations, often genitally, as well as threats of genital mutilation. One victim was forced to witness the rape of another prisoner, the report says.
Detainees who were most often subjected to torture were military personnel, as well as law enforcement officers, volunteers, activists, community leaders, medical workers and teachers. The most common methods of torture were strangulation, water torture, severe beatings and threats of rape.
Overall, the evidence from the released prisons “suggests that Putin's plan to destroy Ukrainian identity includes a number of crimes resembling genocide”, — said British lawyer Wayne Jordash, who headed the group of experts.