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Russia behind ‘widespread and systematic’ torture in Ukraine: UN

Published:

NEW DELHI: The United Nations investigators on Friday claimed that

Russia

is continuing to commit serious rights violations and

war crimes

in

Ukraine

, including “systematic”

torture

and

rape

.
The ongoing conflict, which has endured for over two years, has seen Moscow making territorial advances on the battlefield.
Fresh evidence of widespread abuses in Ukraine since the full-scale invasion was reported by the high-level Commission of Inquiry (COI) on the rights situation, said the commission.

Voicing concern over the continued use of explosive weapons in civilian areas, the report confirmed “a pattern of disregard by Russian armed forces for possible harm to civilians.”

“The evidence shows that Russian authorities have committed violation of international human rights and international humanitarian law and corresponding war crimes,” COI chief Erik Mose told reporters.
“Further investigations are required to determine whether some of the situations identified may constitute crimes against humanity,” he added.
United Nations confirming the previous finding said that torture by Russian authorities has been “widespread and systematic” in both Ukraine and Russia.

The investigators said they compiled their latest report after speaking to more than 800 people during 16 separate visits to Ukraine.
The team discovered that Russia’s treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war was “horrific.” The report documented incidents of rape and other sexual violence committed against women in circumstances that also amount to torture.
“It also details incidents of torture with a sexualised dimension and threats of rape against male prisoners of war.”
Investigators also discovered “additional evidence” indicating that Ukrainian children had been unlawfully transferred to areas under Russian control.
The investigators enquired into Russia’s looting of Ukrainian cultural objects and archive documents, focusing on the city of Kherson. The city fell under Russian occupation in March 2022 before being liberated approximately eight months later.
During the final weeks of the occupation in October and November 2022, “Russian authorities transferred cultural objects from the Kherson Regional Art Museum and archival documents from the State Archives of Kherson province to” occupied Crimea.
“According to estimates of staff of both institutions, over 10,000 objects from the Museum and 70 percent of the documents from the main building of the State Archive, were removed,” the report said.
Describing this cultural appropriation as a “war crime,” the UN report emphasized its severity.

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