The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said on Monday that Russian occupiers tortured Ukrainians so brutally that some of their victims died, and forced families to listen as they raped women next door in their latest findings from the field, in its latest update.
The UN-mandated body found widespread and systematic use of torture by Russian armed forces, primarily targeting informants of Ukrainian forces. The commission noted in its press release that it had been conducting interviews into the use of explosive weapons, torture and sexual violence against civilians in Ukraine.
The commission stated during its ten trips to the region, it met with survivors of Russian atrocities being committed against the Ukrainian people in Cherkasy, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia and elsewhere as well as meeting with survivors of Russia’s shelling across Ukraine. In Kherson they noted that “Russian soldiers raped and committed sexual violence against women of ages ranging from 19 to 83 years, often with threats or commission of other violations.”
The commission is also concerned about allegations of genocide in Ukraine and emphasized “the need for accountability,” adding that it is continuing to investigate the allegations. It also called on Ukraine to “expeditiously and thoroughly investigate the few cases of violations by its own forces.”
In response to the commission’s work in Ukraine ,the inquiry team noted that it “appreciates the cooperation of the Government of Ukraine and expresses gratitude to victims and witnesses for sharing their experiences”. However, The commission furthered that it “regrets” that all communications addressed to the Russian Federation remain unanswered.
In response, the US delegation to the commission stated that the update “is essential to ensuring accountability for thousands of victims.” UK Ambassador to the WTO and UN Simon Malley thanked the commission for its update and publicly inquired, “are you carrying out further investigations into the forcible transfer of children, including the widely reported use of so-called “summer camps” for systematic political indoctrination?”
Some experts label Russia guilty of inciting and committing genocide. Law professor Milena Sterio, writing for JURIST, previously argued that Russian atrocities in Ukraine, including mass killings, shelling and rape, point toward a genocidal intent.