The OSCE report found ‘clear patterns’ of violations of international humanitarian law by Russian forces

The report says “credible evidence” has been found that suggests violations of the most basic human rights (rights, prohibition of torture and other inhumane and degrading treatment and punishment), often in areas under Russia’s competent control or under Russia’s overall control.

In a statement to the OSCE on Wednesday, US Ambassador Michael Carpenter said, “Overall, this report documents a list of inhumane acts committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.”

“This report is powerful in documenting the sheer intent of the Russian government’s atrocities,” Carpenter said.

The 110-page report describes reports of targeted killings, torture, rape and enforced disappearances.

The fact-finding mission of the OSCE “received numerous reports, sometimes accompanied by photographic evidence, alleging that Russian troops had used non-military vehicles, Ukrainian flags, military or police uniforms or vehicles, white flags, the red cross symbol, civilian clothing and OSCE symbols to facilitate their military operations. “It simply came to our notice then.

This includes the statements of the Ukrainian translator who was “captured for nine days” by Russian forces. Left in an icy cellar, he was repeatedly beaten with pieces of iron wire and rifle, tortured with electricity, and without food for 48 hours, subjected to a mock execution.

It includes a report of a woman who was repeatedly raped “in the presence of her young child” who killed the husband of a “drunken Russian soldier”.

“There are allegations of rape, including gang-rape committed by Russian soldiers in several parts of Ukraine,” the report said.

The human rights ombudsman of the Ukrainian parliament quoted him as saying that “500,000 civilians have been deported from Ukraine to Russia and that all of them have been forcibly relocated and first brought to some filtration camps in Russia near the Ukrainian border.” Some of them were taken to the island of Sakal, but were left free there. “

For many incidents, the report says they were war crimes, but did not fully report them. However, it says of the attack on the maternity hospital in Mariupol: “So this attack (international humanitarian law) is a clear violation and those responsible for it have committed war crimes.”

“Even if a hospital may have been used by the security forces for military purposes or destroyed by mistake, this is not possible when 50 hospitals are destroyed,” the report said.

It refers to the so-called “especially insidious form of attack” that Russian forces allegedly carried out in Kharkiv in early March. Russian ship missile strikes Kharkiv regional administration – a second strike strikes building just minutes after rescue workers arrive.


The report is the result of a three-week fact-finding mission by three OSCE experts, covering the period from the start of the war on February 24 to April 1. That work began after 45 countries promoted OSCE. Moscow mechanism, which is used to investigate allegations of human rights violations.

The report notes that experts face a number of limitations – time and resource constraints, lack of access to Ukraine – and therefore “a comprehensive assessment of the identification of IHL violations and war crimes and crimes against humanity. Impossible.”

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However, he said, “It is unthinkable that so many civilians would be killed and wounded in civilian objects, including houses, hospitals, cultural property, schools, apartment buildings, administrative buildings, prisons, police stations, water stations, and the difference, proportion and precautionary measures used in waging war in Ukraine.” Basically, if Russia had respected its (international humanitarian law) obligations, the power systems would have been damaged or destroyed, “it said.

The report does not cover the period in which developments such as the atrocities in Pucha came to light, saying it “requires serious national and international investigations with forensic experts.” It states that “if confirmed, such killings (international humanitarian law) would be the worst violations of war crimes.”

“There were violations on both the Ukrainian and Russian sides,” the report said.

“However, the violations committed by the Russian Federation are huge in nature and scale,” it added. Most violations in Ukraine are related to the conduct of Russian soldiers.

The report states that Russia, a member of the OSCE, did not provide further information on the fact-finding mission, but instead “recommended the mission for official statements and explanations from the Government of the Russian Federation.” The mission cannot take into account Russia’s position on all relevant incidents, except for official open sources and websites. “

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“The Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation informed the Mission on request that the Moscow mechanism was considered largely obsolete and unnecessary,” the report said.

‘More detailed inquiries needed’

The OSCE report welcomes the work being done by the International Criminal Court (ICC), the United Nations and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to investigate crimes in Ukraine.

“More detailed investigations are needed, especially in connection with the establishment of personal criminal liability for war crimes,” it says.

Carpenter, the US ambassador to OSCE, told reporters: “The information and evidence collected by the fact-finding mission … will be shared with other jurisdictions, such as the ICC and the ICJ.

Carpenter did not rule out the possibility of triggering a Moscow mechanism to see further reports of atrocities in Ukraine.

This story has been updated to add more details.

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