Human Rights Watch accuses Russia of war crimes against civilians

Russian soldierPhoto: Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP

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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2 Comments on "Human Rights Watch accuses Russia of war crimes against civilians"

  1. Any war crimes which have happened in Ukraine *should* be fully investigated, but after all our own unpunished killings of civilians by the West – willful “collateral damage,” even targeting weddings – and our own terrorist “co-belligerents”/allies in the Mideast – and 600,000 to 900,000 (depending on the Lancet study of Iraq deaths) innocent dead in our fraudulent ergo war crime wars there – we have little or no moral and therefore legal right to prosecute,

    … until/unless we do deal with our own (high level) war criminals.
    And more than a couple Norwegian political leaders have innocent Libyans’ blood on their hands.

    As to Ukraine, the identities of the victims need to be independently verified.
    The Russians deployed Chechen shock troops in these areas who are as brutal as Nazi SS. There appear to be *anti-*Russian Chechens on the Ukraine side too – the Lviv “TV presenter” who was calling for the extermination of ethnic Russian children, even having an inset of Adolf Eichmann on his screen, has a name that looks so – so the time of the killings and those identities (to make sure they weren’t ethnic Russians) need to be verified.
    The Russian high command is indeed responsible for anything their forces – Chechen or Russian – do, just as the Ukrainian high command is responsible for anything its own Chechens and Azov Battalion do.

    But we must also remember that our media is giving us just one side of this tragedy, and hyping that as well.
    All we had to do was show Donald Trump photos of dead children – even if false – and he was ready to bomb ANYone.

    Shots through the back of the head are reminiscent of the NKVD’s genocidal mass killings of 25,000 Polish officers and intelligentsia at Katyn and other sites in 1940. And the NKVD had already murdered half of the Red Army’s Russian officers which greatly helped the Nazi 22Jun41 Barbarossa invasion which cost the lives of 27 million Russian and other men, women, and children … let alone mentally and physically scarring many millions more.
    We in the West have no comprehension of what such death and suffering is like, but the Russians (who do have civil defense) will see that we soon will, if we don’t BACK OFF.

    My history masters thesis about Katyn as a Cold War issue – Truth brought down the Soviet regime, not mere economics – is at

  2. There is another possibility here, though.
    There are 3 credible sources that the snipers in Kyiv in 2014 were not government but were actually anti-government, to escalate the demonstrations into the revolution with homicidal violence – that the killings were false flag.
    So these killings could have been of pro-Russian civilians or even staged. There needs to be a thorough investigation before any judgment is passed.
    People in the West are being emotionally jerked around, and if we aren’t more careful this war is going to escalate *completely* out of control.

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