UN investigators said Friday that war crimes have been committed in the Ukraine conflict, listing Russian bombings of civilian areas, numerous executions, torture and horrific sexual violence.
“Based on the evidence gathered by the Commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine”, - Erik Mose, the head of the investigation team, told the UN Human Rights Council.
UN investigators typically couch their findings on international crimes in conditional language, referring the final confirmation of war crimes and similar violations to courts of law.
The council was set up by the Commission of Inquiry (COI), the highest possible level of investigation in May to investigate crimes in Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The team of 3 independent experts was presenting their first oral update to the council, after it launched initial investigations looking at the areas of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions, and said it would broaden the probe going forward.
Speaking a day before the 7-month anniversary of the war, Mose pointed to “Russia’s use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas”, which he said was “a source of immense harm and suffering for civilians”.