A United Nations Commission of Inquiry concludes that “war crimes have been committed in the conflict in Ukraine”.
The commission was formed in May to investigate Russian fighting in Ukraine and now says there have been “Russian bombings of civilian targets, executions, torture and horrific sexual violence”.
Norwegian committee chair Erik Møse told the UN Human Rights Council that enough evidence had been gathered to support the claim. It was the first update of the investigation of the three-member committee for the UN Council. The research has focused on the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumi regions but is expected to extend into other regions.
Mose said Russia is deploying explosive materials that have a major impact in areas where civilians live. “This is the source of immense suffering and pain among civilians.”
The Russian armed forces have also carried out attacks on targets that did not distinguish between combatants and civilians. A striking number of people have been executed, according to Møse, and there have been many reports of ill-treatment, torture and wrongful arrests, sometimes involving prisoners being taken and locked up in Russian prisons for weeks.
The UN considers Norwegian magistrate Møse to be an independent chairman. Norway has imposed numerous sanctions against Russia. The other two committee members come from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Colombia.