Violent Crimes Committed During the Armed Conflict in Eastern Ukraine between 2014–2018
Two Ukrainian non-governmental nonprofit human rights organizations, the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group (KHPG) and the Shore of Peace (SP), present the report, which contains information about the alleged crimes committed during the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine between 2014–2018.
KHPG and SP find that the crimes enumerated in this report constitute crimes against humanity and war crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC. There are reasonable grounds to believe that these crimes qualify as crimes against humanity under articles 7 (1) (a), (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i); and as war crimes under Article 8(2) (a) (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), (vi), (b) (i). (ii), (iv), (v), (ix), (xxi), (xxii), (xxiii), (c) (i), (ii), (e) (i), (ii), (iv) and (vi) of the RS.
The report includes information on all the crimes which is supported by the evidence available to KHPG and SP.
Section 2 (Introduction) provides a brief overview of the work of KHPG and SP, and expresses gratitude to the international donor organizations that supported our efforts, as well as to the partner organizations that participated in the collection of evidence.
Section 3 (Methodology) describes methodology that has been used in preparation of this report, in particular: (1) SP and KHPG databases; (2) methodology of the monitoring visits to the areas located on the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government; (3) interviews with the victims of crimes; (4) methodology underlying the process of collecting, verifying and consolidating information about the territory controlled by the Ukrainian government; and (5) methodology underlying the process collecting, verifying and consolidating information about OTDLR.
Section 4 (Facts) briefly outlines the timeline of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. It provides general information about the context, in which the crimes have taken place, as well as demonstrates both widespread and systematic nature of those crimes.
Section 5 (Alleged Crimes) includes information about the following crimes:
• Murder (extrajudicial killings, torturing to death, killings of civilians as a result of isolated attacks);
• Attacks on the civilians and the destruction of civilian objects (intentional attacks, indiscriminate attacks, deaths as the result of explosions — mines, trip wire etc., the destruction and damage of buildings and infrastructure);
• Willfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;
• Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity, and carried out unlawfully and wantonly;
• Use of protected persons as “human shields”;
• Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in the unlawful places of detention (separately in relation to military personnel and civilians);
• Torture and inhuman treatment (separately in relation military personnel and civilian);
• Sexual and gender based violence;
• Outrages upon personal dignity (parades of captives, forcing detainees to eat insignia of their military uniforms, forcing detainees to reinter decomposed corpses of Ukrainian military servicemen, etc.).
The report also lists crimes that require more detailed consideration in separate prospective reports to the ICC Office of The Prosecutor, such as enforced disappearances; persecution against an identifiable group on discriminatory grounds (Roma, members of the LGBTI community, religious believers who do not recognize by the Moscow Patriarchate); crimes committed against convicts/prisoners in the OTDLR (willfully depriving protected persons of the right to a fair trial, violations of article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949).
Section 6 (Ineffectiveness of the Investigation of Crimes) refers to the inability and unwilling of the State to investigate the committed crimes).
Section 7 (Conclusion) summarizes the report and draws conclusions.