Geneva, Mar 16 (EFE).- Russian authorities have committed war crimes not only across various regions in Ukraine but also in Russia, a UN-commissioned investigative body reported on Thursday.
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said in a report that Russian forces have carried out crimes against humanity during the wave of attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure that began in October 2022.
“Russian armed forces have carried out attacks with explosive weapons in populated areas with an apparent disregard for civilian harm and suffering, failing to take the required precautions,” the commission said in the report that is set to be presented to the Human Rights Council next week.
Civilian killings multiplied when Russian forces were advancing into Ukrainian territory, as did detentions and confinements at sites built specifically for this purpose both in Ukraine and Russia, according to the report.
There, Ukrainian detainees underwent torture for reasons as insignificant as “speaking Ukrainian” and “not remembering the lyrics of the anthem of the Russian Federation,” while during their raids on private houses, Russian soldiers committed sexual violence against men and women.
Crimes also included the forced transfer and deportation of children. Witnesses interviewed by the commission said the youngest children might have lost contact with their families permanently.
The investigative body has established that Russia’s invasion and attacks against Ukraine can amount to an act of aggression that can be investigated and submitted to the International Criminal Court.
The investigators traveled to Ukraine eight times during the course of the probe, visiting 56 cities and interviewing some 600 people.
The commission concluded by calling for a “comprehensive approach to accountability that includes both criminal responsibility and the victims’ right to truth, reparation, and non-repetition.” EFE