UN Report Confirms War Crimes Committed By Russians In Ukraine

Dr. E.C. Beuck

Yesterday the first report by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine was released. Set up in March at the request of the Member States of the Human Rights Council, the Commission focused most of its investigations in and around the regions of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Sumy. There were strong allegations that the most serious human rights violations by Russian or Russian-backed forces occurred within these areas. According to Commission chairperson Erik Møse, investigators visited some twenty-seven towns and settlements, as well as interviewed more than one hundred and fifty victims and witnesses to these atrocities. Further evidence was collected in visits to the sites of destruction, graves, as well as places of detention and torture.

The firm conclusion is that war crimes were indeed committed in Ukraine, and that they were widespread.

According to the report, Russian armed forces committed unlawful killings, including summary executions of civilians, in more than thirty settlements spread throughout Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Sumy during the timeframe they controlled these areas in February and March. The scale of violence and suffering inflicted on the men, women, and even children by the Russian armed forces covered in this report is simply evil.

Worse, this is not unique to the Ukraine War either. A number of conflicts Russia has engaged in since the dissolution of the Soviet Union has seen the use of war crimes by Russian armed forces. In Chechnya, the Chechen people were characterized by Russian propaganda as being bandits and cockroaches, among other derogatory terms. There were indiscriminate attacks against civilian infrastructure and summary executions of the general population there as well. In Georgia, Russian armed forces deliberately attacked fleeing civilians in South Ossetia and in the Gori district of Georgia, all the while armed militias engaged in looting and kidnappings. These events and more point to war crimes by Russian armed forces being a pattern and not an aberration.

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Holding a PhD in Political Science, I write about current events and on political topics related to international relations, international law, conflict both between and within states, and the interactions between technology and politics.

Washington, DC

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