Geneva, (EFE).- The UN fact-finding mission in Ukraine concluded, after visiting that country in June, that Russia committed war crimes during its invasion of that country.

According to the chairman of this tripartite commission, Erik Mose, during his appearance before the United Nations Human Rights Council, “we were shocked by the large number of executions perpetrated in the areas we visited”.

The mission investigated these killings in 16 Ukrainian towns, although it received credible reports of crimes in many other locations.

Killings of inmates and rapes

Many of these murders were perpetrated on previously detained persons. Mose pointed out that many of the deceased had their hands tied behind their backs, head wounds and cuts to their throats, indications that they were summary executions.

The chairman of the commission also denounced that soldiers of the Russian Federation committed sexual and gender-based violence, against victims “between four and 82 years old”, and that in some cases their relatives were forced to see how these people were mistreated. or tortured.

The mission – also formed by the Colombian Pablo de Greiff and the Bosnian Jasminka Dzumhur – “has documented cases in which children were raped, tortured and illegally detained”, in some cases later murdered.

Witnesses interviewed by the mission said they were beaten, electrocuted and forcibly stripped during illegal detentions, in some cases after being taken from Ukraine to Russian territory.

Several people speak with two Ukrainian officers in front of a mass grave in Bucha, Ukraine
A group of people talk to authorities in front of the remains of a mass grave in Bucha, Ukraine. EFE / Miguel Gutierrez

Over 6,000 civilians killed

The investigation also found repeated use of explosive devices in non-military areas, which hit residential areas, schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.

According to experts from the United Nations Human Rights Office, these actions have caused the death of some 6,000 civilians in seven months of conflict.

“Some of the attacks we are investigating were launched without distinction between civilians and combatants,” Mose said, alluding to one of the pieces of evidence of possible war crimes.

First mission report

The conclusions are the first communicated by the mission since its creation by the Human Rights Council last March, and relate in particular to the acts perpetrated in February and March in the regions near Kyiv, Chernigov, Kharkov and Sumi.

“The recent discovery of more mass graves illustrates the seriousness of the situation,” reiterated the chairman of the commission, who also underlined the collaboration of the Ukrainian authorities in the investigations and the refusal of Russia to communicate with them.

The mission collected two incidents of mistreatment of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces, a type of crime that “although fewer in number, will continue to command our attention”, according to Mose.

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