Russian forces have committed war crimes against civilians in Ukraine, including rape and arbitrary executions, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The human rights organization has interviewed ten victims, eyewitnesses, and residents of areas occupied by Russian forces. The interviews paint a brutal picture of the situation.
“The cases we document constitute indescribable, deliberate cruelty and violence against civilian Ukrainians,” Hugh Williamson, who heads HRW’s operations in Europe and Central Asia, stated.
“Rape, murder, and other acts of violence against people who are in the custody of the Russian forces should be investigated as war crimes,” he said.
Shot from close range
Human Rights Watch has documented, among other things, how Russian forces captured five Ukrainian men on March 4 in the Kyiv suburb of Butsja. The five were forced to kneel by the road, and their T-shirts were then pulled over their heads. Then one of the men was shot from close range.
In the village of Starji Bykiv in the Chernihiv region, six Ukrainian men were captured on February 27 and then shot and killed, according to the mother of one of the men.
In the village of Vorzel northwest of Kyiv, Russian soldiers threw a smoke grenade into a basement and shot a woman and a 14-year-old boy as they fled. According to witnesses, the boy was killed on the spot, and the woman died two days later.
One woman told Human Rights Watch that a Russian soldier repeatedly raped her at a school where she and her family had sought refuge.
Many of the interviewees also told the HRW how Russian soldiers looted food, firewood, clothes, petrol, and objects.
“Russia has a duty to investigate crimes committed by the country’s soldiers. Officers must understand that by closing their eyes to killings and rapes committed by soldiers under their command, they themselves become personally responsible for war crimes,” Williamson said.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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