Kyiv: More than 66,000 war crimes committed by the Russians

Kyiv: More than 66,000 war crimes committed by the Russians

Jan 31 2023

ARK News… Legal experts: The staggering number of cases would overwhelm any judicial system

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General revealed that more than 66,000 additional crimes have been recorded in the country since the start of the Russian military operation last February.

And the number of recorded crimes is increasing by the hundreds every day with the deployment of investigators in the areas that the Ukrainians have recovered from the Russians, according to the American newspaper, "The Washington Post".

It also reported crimes ranging from theft of property to torture, murder, rape, deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, and missile strikes relentlessly targeting Ukrainian infrastructure.

First-hand accounts and forensic evidence
For their part, legal experts said that the staggering number of cases would overwhelm any judicial system anywhere. But Ukraine's chief prosecutor, Andrei Kostin, has vowed to investigate all of them and to bring to trial all those about whom sufficient evidence can be gathered.

The liberation of territory by Ukrainian forces has allowed investigators to obtain first-hand accounts and forensic evidence within days or weeks of the crimes being committed rather than years, as has been the case with most previous attempts to prosecute war criminals.

Ukrainian officials have made it clear that if Ukraine succeeds in regaining more territory, the number of cases could easily double, according to the newspaper.

Prison sentences
In parallel, 25 Russians have been sentenced to prison terms, ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment.

According to figures provided by the General Prosecutor's Office, only 18 of the 250 Russians against whom sufficient evidence has been collected to bring charges are in Ukrainian custody as prisoners of war.

In turn, Kostin said that Ukraine is at the same time collecting evidence of high-level personalities who can be accused of committing violations of international law for transmission to international authorities.

But Ukrainian law prohibits the admission of evidence not collected by Ukrainian investigators, making some of the international assistance that has poured into the country unhelpful, said Yury Belousov, head of the war crimes prosecution department at the prosecutor's office.

international court
It is noteworthy that President Volodymyr Zelensky has made justice for victims of war crimes one of his conditions for achieving a final peace with Russia.

He called for the formation of an international tribunal on the perpetrators of war crimes in Ukraine, pointing out earlier this month the increase in the number of supporters in the world to establish a trial against the Russian military operation in Ukraine following the economic forum in Davos.