A team of experts commissioned by the UN’s top human rights body to look into human rights violations in Ukraine said its initial probe turned up evidence of war crimes following Russia’s invasion on February 24.
That’s according to the Associated Press, Ukrinform reports.
The experts have so far focused on four regions – Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Sumy.
Presenting their findings, the UN group cited testimonies by former detainees of beatings, electric shocks and forced nudity in Russian detention facilities. The experts also expressed grave concerns about executions in the four regions.
“We were struck by the large number of executions in the areas that we visited. The commission is currently investigating such deaths in 16 towns and settlements,” Erik Mose, the commission’s chairman, said.
The commission visited 27 towns and settlements, as well as graves and detention and torture centers; interviewed more than 150 victims and witnesses; and met with advocacy groups and government officials.
“Based on the evidence gathered by the commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine,” Mose said.
The official said Russian soldiers were found to have committed crimes of sexual or gender-based violence – with victims ranging in age from 4 to 82 years old.
The commission plans to gradually expand its investigation, with areas of interest including allegations of filtration camps for people being detained or deported, the forced transfer of people, and allegations of expedited adoption of children.