Russia War Crimes Diary – Ukraine edition 16

27 feb., 2023

A year later, a nation torn apart, still stands. 

In the early hours of Feb. 24 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. As the nation shook under Russia’s widespread strikes, and millions fled the war, Europe was left facing a daunting reality: the continent’s largest conflict since World War II. 

President Putin expected that his forces would take Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, in just three days. Today, a year later, Kyiv stands; a point defiantly noted by U.S. President Joe Biden on his recent high-profile visit to the war-torn capital. 

Indeed, a year later, Kyiv stands. A year later, Ukraine stands, and much of the free world stands with Ukraine. A year later, the country continues to fight for freedom, independence, and democracy. But so far, more than 8,000 civilians have lost their lives since Russia invaded, according to recent figures by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Russia stands accused of many war crimes. In order to confront the grim reality of war, international organizations, law enforcement agencies, journalists, and volunteers continue to collect and record evidence of war crimes committed by Moscow’s forces.

Evidence sines light on Russia’s deadly train station attack

Human Rights Watch researchers have conducted an extensive study of one of Russia’s deadliest single attacks on civilians so far: a ballistic missile attack that struck a train station, occupied by some 500 people at the time, in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine that killed 59 people, including 7 children.  

Researchers from SITU Research, Human Rights Watch, and Visual Investigations analyzed more than 200 videos and photos using spatial and temporal analysis to determine what happened that day in April last year.

“I heard a lot of screaming,” an ambulance driver at the scene of the tragedy told the researchers. “I heard people crying who had 20 to 40 seconds to live. I heard the last cries before death. I saw limbs, children’s limbs on the ground. I saw a head rolling on the ground.”

  • You can read the full research, here.

U.S. determines Russia has committed “crimes again humanity” in Ukraine

The United States government has determined that Russia has committed war crimes in its war against Ukraine, according to Vice President Kamala Harris.

Speaking at the Munich Security Conference in Germany in mid-February, Harris said that “Russian forces have pursued a widespread and systemic attack against a civilian population — gruesome acts of murder, torture, rape, and deportation.”

“In the case of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, we have examined the evidence, we know the legal standards, and there is no doubt: These are crimes against humanity,” Harris said. “Let us all agree — on behalf of all the victims, both known and unknown, justice must be served.”

The charges against Moscow – which are largely symbolic and could bolster efforts by international organizations looking to prosecute Russia’s crimes – include violence and atrocities against civilians, suspected disappearances and torture. You can read more, here.

Russia illegally relocates, re-educates, and adopts Ukrainian children, report finds

Russia has “systematically relocated” an estimated 6,000 Ukrainian children for re-education to special camps in Crimea and the Russian Federation under the guise of evacuation and “recreation,” mostly with the forced consent of their parents which violates international law, a report released by a renowned U.S. university shows. 

The Yale School of Public Health’s Humanitarian Research Laboratory determines in its report that these Ukrainian children are being re-educated as Russian “patriots” by exposing the children to a Russian-oriented academic, cultural, and military educational programme.

The report reveals states that the process of forced relocation can have serious consequences on the children’s mental and psychological health.

  • You can read the full report, here.

“The stolen children”: report shines light on who is behind Russia’s deportation of Ukrainian children

The Molfar OSINT community has carried out an investigation into the forced deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia, where the minors are re-settled into Russian families. Their findings offer insight into how the illegal process is carried out and who is behind it. 

The Russian organization Into the hands of children is a non-profit organization run as a so-called “humanitarian mission,” led by Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Lvova-Belova, and deports Ukrainian children from the war-torn country’s occupied territories.

The Molfar OSINT said it has identified about 14 people who are connected to the headquarters of Into the hands of children, and that most of them are Russian citizens “connected to governmental structures.”

“It is our strong desire that the crimes of child abduction are brought to the attention of international organizations and investigated in detail using all available sources,” Molfar OSINT said in its report, which you can read in full, here

Who gives and executes orders to repeatedly shell the city of Ochakov?

Journalists from Schemes believe they have identified a Russian military unit responsible for the massive shelling of civilian buildings, port infrastructure, and medical facilities in Ochakov in Ukraine’s Mykolaiv region.

Ochakov population of about 15,000 people has been frequently subject to Russian fire since Russia invaded last February. “This is how the military is trying to destroy the local infrastructure, intimidate residents, prevent the port from working and make it impossible for the Ukrainian military to disembark from there to de-occupy the left bank of the Kherson region,” Schemes journalists write.

These people are not only associated with the current government in Russia but also participated in the occupation of Crimea and the war in Donbas. According to local authorities, 50 people have been killed in Ochakiv since the war started.

  • Read the full article, here.

Edited by Stephen McGrath
source: Kharkiv Region Prosecutor’s Office

Despre autor: Yana Skoryna

Avatar of Yana Skoryna
Yana Skoryna are o experiență de 10 ani în jurnalismul TV din Ucraina, unde a lucrat de la proiecte de anvergură la emisiuni de divertisment pentru diverse canale TV și a fost, de asemenea, editor pe platou. De când s-a mutat în România, Yana scrie la CONTEXT un jurnal al crimelor de război, documentând atrocitățile comise de ruși în Ucraina. Ea face interviuri și scrie poveștile victimelor pentru ca acestea să nu fie uitate și criminalii să fie pedepsiți într-o bună zi. Yana spune că produsele media de calitate sunt create din detalii.

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