- The UN has released a new report detailing the crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- The report details war crimes, including torture and rape of civilians and deportation of children.
- The invasion has created more refugees and displaced more people than the world has seen since World War II.
More than a year after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a new report from the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry into Ukraine found evidence of war crimes, including the systematic rape, torture and murder of civilians and indiscriminate attacks on infrastructure that have displaced millions touched.
More people have fled or been internally displaced from Ukraine since the start of the war, according to the United Nations, than the world has seen since World War II.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that as of February 21, about eight million refugees from Ukraine have been displaced across Europe — about 90 percent of whom are women and children. In addition, there are currently about 5.4 million internally displaced persons in Ukraine who remain in the country.
“Nearly 18 million people in Ukraine are in need of humanitarian aid and faced particularly harsh conditions during the winter months,” the report reads. “The conflict has affected people’s rights to health, education, adequate housing, food and water. Some vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, persons with disabilities and persons belonging to minorities, have been particularly affected. None some region of the country has been spared by the conflict.”
As of Feb. 15, OHCHR had recorded 8,006 civilians killed and 13,287 injured in Ukraine since the invasion began on Feb. 24 last year, though the report says officials believe the real numbers are “significantly higher.”
To complete her report, members of the United Nations commission visited 56 communities affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and conducted interviews with 348 women and 247 men. Investigators reported seeing “places of destruction, graves, places of detention and torture, as well as remains of weapons,” according to a UN statement emailed to Insider.
The report noted that two cases of alleged war crimes committed by Ukrainian forces were under investigation, but there are indications that “Russian authorities have committed a wide range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in many regions of Ukraine and in the Russian Federation.”, the report said, including “deliberate killings, attacks on civilians, illegal detention, torture, rape and forced transfers and deportations of children.”
“They have punished innocent people; now those who are guilty, if they are still alive, must be punished in full,” a man, whose father was executed by Russian forces in the Izium region, told members of the commission, according to a statement from the UN emailed to Insider.
The International Criminal Court, a tribunal based in The Hague, Netherlands, issued an international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin on Friday, accusing the Russian leader of war crimes and calling for him to stand trial – though it is unlikely he will, since Russia, like the US, does not recognize the authority of the ICC.
Because Putin failed to check the military members who committed the acts, he would be responsible for the war crime of forcibly deporting children from occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, the ICC said in a statement Friday.
A State Department spokesman told Insider that “there is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and it has been clear to us that those responsible must be held accountable.”
Representatives from the ICC and the State Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.
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