Ukrainian authorities have collected the bodies of 765 civilians, including 30 children, in the Kiev region since Russian forces chased them there in early April, a senior regional lawyer said.
Kiev region deputy attorney general Ole Tkalenko said authorities expect more bodies to be found in the coming weeks.
“It simply came to our notice then. We’m just starting to work in big cities like Borodianka, Hostomel, Irfin and Pucha, “Digalenko said.” We still have a lot to dig. “
Numerous mass graves have been discovered since Ukrainian authorities recaptured parts of the Russian-occupied Kiev region.
“It takes time and effort to properly document each person. But we have to do this so that we have the evidence, so there is no story that it is fake,” Tkalenko said. “I believe it. [Russian soldiers] They deliberately left the bodies of slain civilians on the streets and forbade people from burying them to intimidate people.
He described three alleged torture cases against civil society groups in the region his office is investigating. Russia has repeatedly refused to target civilians and said Ukrainian and Western war crimes were fabricated.
In the city of Motijin, Tkalenko said Russian troops had selected nine people whom they believed to have aided the Ukrainian army. Six were tortured and three survived, he said.
“They were stripped naked, put in pits and beaten. They were shot in the legs and arms and tortured, “said Tkalenko. “They’re starving.”
He said authorities have launched a major lawsuit against more than 40 people in the village of Dymer, north of Kyiv. “They were used as forced laborers. They dug their own graves and had their fingers broken. They fired near the head and between the legs. Those who refused to speak, or did not like what they were saying, were shot in the hand. They strangled and their hands twisted.
The third case under investigation is related to the territory of a golf club near the town of Mahariv. Russian forces used the club as their headquarters and the locals detained the group. “They were buried alive, forced to dig a grave, beaten,” Tkalenko said.
He declined to give exact figures on documented incidents of sexual violence or rape. He said the number of rape cases opened by prosecutors in the Kiev region was in the tens. However, he stressed that women are reluctant to register police complaints about sexual abuse because they believe the perpetrators will not be caught. Instead, they contacted psychologists and doctors for help.
“People are ashamed to talk about rape,” Tkalenko said. “We approach individuals and talk to them one by one. “People are ready to talk about torture cases.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky said on Tuesday that the number of rape cases was in the hundreds. A spokesman for Zhelensky’s office declined to give exact figures or further details on where the crimes took place and against whom. The Attorney General’s Office could not be reached for comment on the exact number of cases.
Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman Lyudmila Denisova said on April 8 that 25 women had been placed in the basement and formally raped in a house in Pucha.
“It is difficult to talk about what is going on in their heads,” Tkalenko said of the psychology of Russian troops. “But I would say that the Russian army was made up of people who could not pay a bribe to get out of coercion. They even stole people’s boilers.
In a preliminary assessment of the conduct of the seven-week war in Ukraine, international human rights monitors said they had found “clear patterns” of violations of international humanitarian law.
Three experts appointed by the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which includes Europe, North America and Central Asia, have said Russia should respect humanitarian law and carefully avoid shelling hospitals and other protected infrastructure. Then “the number of civilians killed or injured would have been much lower”.
“Significantly fewer homes, hospitals, cultural properties, schools, multi-storey apartment buildings, water stations and electrical systems have been damaged or destroyed,” observers said in a statement released by OSCE on Wednesday.
But last month, after the release of the video on human rights “violations and problems” in Ukraine, especially the treatment of prisoners of war, first-time convicts, Russian soldiers were shot in the leg by their captives. .
UN The High Commissioner for Human Rights has so far formally recorded 4,450 civilian casualties since the start of the war in Ukraine, of which 1,892 have been killed and 2,558 wounded. But this number has certainly been underestimated due to the difficulties in submitting accurate documents while the fight is going on.
Ukraine is one of 45 OSCE countries that have agreed to appoint observers, but Russia has not cooperated, meaning that the Monitoring Group should rely on Russian public reports for perspective on human rights abuses.