Russian military rapes, tortures and executions

Kharkiv Oblast war crimes prosecutor stands with forensic technicians and police at the site of a mass burial in the woods during excavations on September 16, 2022 in Izium, Ukraine.

Yevhenii Zavhorodnii | Ukraine Global Image | Getty Images News | beautiful pictures

Editor’s Note: The following article contains graphic photographs of corpses and extremely graphic material detailing the executions, rapes, and tortures of people in Ukraine, including young children. small.

UN – A report commissioned by the United Nations this month found that Russian forces in Ukraine committed a range of war crimes, including summary executions, torture, rape and other acts other acts of sexual violence against Ukrainian civilians.

The report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry into Ukraine detailing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in four regions occupied by the Russian armed forces. The commission focused its investigation mainly in the regions of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy.

To prepare the report, the committee conducted 191 interviews and traveled to 27 cities on five separate visits. On several occasions, the commission found that Ukrainian forces had committed war crimes against the Russian military, although those incidents were less frequent.

Moscow has repeatedly denied allegations that its forces deliberately targeted civilians since the full-scale invasion began in late February.

In one of the most disturbing examples of sexual violence, the committee detailed an incident involving a 4-year-old girl:

In the Kyiv region, in March 2022, two Russian soldiers entered a house, raped a 22-year-old woman several times, committed sexual violence against her husband, and forced the two to have sex first. their witness.

Then one of the soldiers forced their four-year-old daughter to perform oral sex on him, which was rape.

The commission said the ages of sexual assault victims ranged from four to more than 80 years old.

The group wrote in its October 18 report: “Volators raped women and girls in their homes or captured them and raped them in uninhabited homes,” the group wrote in the report. October 18 report.

The group also writes that spouses and family members, including children, are sometimes forced to witness crimes committed by the Russian military, who “frequently appear to be under the influence of alcohol. “

The commission detailed separate cases in March involving both a middle-aged and elderly woman from a village outside Kyiv:

A 56-year-old woman explains how two of the three Russian armed forces broke into her home to rape her while a third watched while masturbating. They stole food and money from her. A few weeks later, she learned that, in a separate incident, her husband had been tortured and executed.

An 83-year-old woman recounted that, while her village was occupied by the Russian armed forces, she was raped by a soldier of the Russian armed forces in her house, where her disabled husband lived. Hers was also present.

The committee wrote that some victims declined to be interviewed while others considered suicide. One psychologist who spoke to the committee said that “all the victims I work with are blaming themselves for being discovered and raped by the perpetrator.”

The report also found that Russian forces illegally detained Ukrainian civilians in overcrowded makeshift facilities before conducting interrogation sessions regarding torture methods:

The conditions of detention are inhumane. According to the victims, the space was so cramped that some were forced to stand or sleep in chairs for weeks. There was no lighting or ventilation, and the air was hot and stuffy.

Water dripped from the ceiling and walls and there was no shower or toilet. Very limited food and water, and almost no medical care… Soldiers randomly shot near victims to frighten them.

A Ukrainian police officer inspects a cell for the words “Prayer of God” written on the wall at the District Police Department used for torture by Russian occupiers, Balakliia, Kharkiv Region, northeastern Ukraine.

Vyacheslav Madiyevskyy | Future Publishing | beautiful pictures

The report added that Russian soldiers referred to Ukrainian civilians as “fascists” or “cattle” during interrogation sessions.

Individuals were handcuffed, tied, blindfolded, and subjected to prolonged beatings with rifles or batons. Russian forces also conduct electric shocks with special forces and carry out mock executions, according to the commission.

The report said: “Victims also described forced nudity for extended periods of time in front of others, which also led to sexual violence.

One victim was severely beaten for two days after rejecting a pro-Russian statement on camera.

Another victim was forced to stand naked and shout “Glory to Russia” while being beaten and described the beating as “punishment for speaking Ukrainian” and “not remembering the lyrics of the Russian Federation. “

The committee writes that after initial detention in Ukraine, individuals are forcibly transferred to Belarus or Russia, which violates international humanitarian law. When civilians arrive in Russia, they are detained in detention facilities, known as filter camps, before being issued a Russian identity card. Moscow has denied those allegations.

The report also outlines events in which victims wearing “civilian clothing, driving civilian cars and unarmed” were targeted and killed by the Russian military.

The left hand of a senior man killed in a Russian missile attack on a humanitarian convoy remains on the steering wheel of a car in Zaporizhzhia, southeastern Ukraine.

Dmytro Smolienko | Ukrinform | Future Publishing | beautiful pictures

“Most of the incidents took place in broad daylight, which meant that the attacker had to have a civilian appearance,” the commission wrote, adding that soldiers had shot civilians with rifles. assault or, in some cases, vehicle-mounted weapons.

The majority of summary executions occurred in places where the Russian armed forces were stationed for a long time, according to the commission’s findings.

Several of the victims’ bodies were found with their hands tied behind their backs, a clear sign that the victim was in custody and was not threatened at the time of death.

The Commission’s investigations found the victims’ causes of death consistent with methods commonly used in executions: gunshot wounds to the head, stab wounds or cuts. throat. In some cases, there was also evidence of physical torture, such as bruises, wounds, and broken bones.

Investigators carry away a bag of bodies in a forest near Izyum, eastern Ukraine, on September 23, 2022, where Ukrainian investigators discovered more than 440 graves after the city was captured by Russian forces recaptured, making fresh statements about the atrocities of war.

Sergey Bobok | Afp | beautiful pictures

The committee concluded in its report that through investigations in the Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy regions, it found that the Russian armed forces had committed “a wide range of war crimes.” , violating human rights and international humanitarian law.”

The group wrote that they will expand the surveys to cover a broader geographical area in a future report.

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