Russian invaders mine children’s playgrounds leaving trail of horrific war crimes
The number of bodies uncovered of Russia's victims in Bucha has reached 340, but is still rising.
The Ukraine 5 a.m. Coalition is determined to ensure that the images of mass graves, of clear signs of extrajudicial executions, etc. receive proper investigation so that the aggressor state and individual perpetrators are held to account, both in national and international courts.
While the Russians may have particularly looked for former members of Ukraine’s Armed Forces, they were clearly targeting men and would have been entirely aware that they were killing civilians.
Those who place the blame for Russia’s invasion solely on Russian leader Vladimir Putin and his closest associates would do well to broaden their scope since all of these egregious war crimes were committed by specific Russians. Over recent weeks there have also been reports of individual Russians sending what they had looted home to Russia. Oleksandra Matviychuk, Director of the Centre for Civil Liberties, posted
Ukraine 5 a.m. report that the whereabouts remain unknown of several hundred people from the Vyshhorod raion, who were held hostage in Dymer.
It was also next to impossible to leave the areas under Russian occupation with agreements on safe corridors constantly violated. As western media reported, the road through these places is strewn with the bodies of those who were killed in shelling and their cars. It is clear in many places that the Russians tried to burn the bodies. These included the naked bodies of four or five women under a blanket who were found around 20 kilometres out of Kyiv. Ukraine’s Ombudsperson Lyudmyla Denisova
It was known back on 10 March that the Bucha authorities had been forced to bury 67 bodies in a mass grave because of the relentless shelling and gunfire from the Russians. According to the city’s Mayor Anatoly Fedoruk, around 280 victims have been buried in mass graves in all. There appears to be at least one mass grave at Motyzhnyn, where the Russians simply hurled the bodies of their victims. According to Denisova, the bodies of six residents of Motyzhyn, two women and four men, had been found flung into a pit near the road. They had been shot in the back of the neck, and some had their hands tied behind their backs.
It is possible that these
Ukraine 5 a.m. write that the Russian military often sought to conceal their crimes by targeting journalists. Of six journalists and cameramen killed since 24 February, four were killed in the Kyiv oblast.
“Even war has its rules”, the human rights defenders write, with Russia’s killing of civilians a flagrant violation of these. The photos and video footage, as well as the testimony of witnesses, point to serious war crimes and crimes against humanity, and may also indicate the crime of genocide against the Ukrainian people.
All such cases require scrupulous and systematic investigation, and they turn to Ukraine’s authorities with specific recommendations on achieving this.
They also urge President Volodymyr Zelensky to finally sign into law a crucial bill on bringing Ukrainian legislation in line with international law to ensure accountability for war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc. Under the present situation, any further detail is simply incomprehensible.
It would surely also be appropriate for the International Criminal Court whose Prosecutor has already been in Ukraine to send a team to investigate the new evidence.
All such investigations are vital, but clearly not enough, especially since it is clear that Russia may have given up on taking Kyiv for now, but it is not abandoning its attack on Ukraine. The trail of crimes left by the Russian invaders demonstrate that more is needed from Ukraine’s international partners to ensure that Russia is defeated and soon.