Executions in Bucha and Torture chambers in the Kharkiv Region: An announcement of new ICC submissions
One concerning the places in the Kharkiv Region where Ukrainians were held and tortured, and the other regarding extrajudicial executions of Ukrainians by Russian military forces. Human rights activists argue that Russia’s actions constitute crimes against humanity.
213 incidents of harsh deprivation of physical freedom were recorded by the “Tribunal for Putin” initiative from February 24, 2022 to March 31, 2023 in the temporarily occupied part of the Kharkiv Region. All of these incidents are described in one of the presented submissions. This information was obtained through personal contacts with victims, their relatives, and witnesses. They told about the most common types of torture that the occupiers committed and continue to commit against the civilian population: beatings, starvation, torture with electricity, simulated executions, and dismemberments.
Information about 804 cases of killings by Russian military forces in temporarily occupied territories from February 24, 2022, to March 31, 2023, was collected by documenters and experts from the “Tribunal for Putin” initiative. These cases are addressed in another submission. In the document, these killings are considered an international crime under the Rome Statute and international judicial practice. It also takes into account events prior to February 24, 2022.
All documented facts, both torture and killings, indicate that the purpose of these crimes is to suppress resistance and instill general fear and panic among the local population. A significant portion of the victims are civilian individuals of working age who posed no threat to Russian military forces and were not part of the armed conflict.
Human rights activists believe that Russia’s actions fall under the definition of crimes against humanity.
There will be simultaneous English translation at the event.
- Date and Time: September 27, 2023, starting at 12:00
- Event Format: Offline, online broadcast
- Venue: Media Center Ukraine — Ukrinform, Kyiv, 8/16 Bohdana Khmelnytskoho Street
- Hanna Ovdiienko, expert from the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, co-author of the submission;
- Maksym Reviakin, expert from the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, co-author of the submission;
- Vladyslav Dolzhko, lawyer from the Kharkiv Human Rights Group, co-author of the submission;
- Yuliia Poliekhina, coordinator of the public reception of the Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union in Dnipro and the “Human Rights Group “SICH”;
- Nataliia Yashchuk, project coordinator at the Center for Civil Liberties.
To recap, these are the third and fourth submissions by the “Tribunal for Putin” initiative to the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. The previous two were related to the genocide in Mariupol and the shelling of Ukraine. This means that Russia has committed and continues to commit all international crimes in Ukraine: the crime of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, and now the ICC has grounds for each of them.
Reference: The Global “Tribunal for Putin” initiative was created in response to Russia’s full-scale aggression in February 2022. The participants of the initiative document events that are considered to be crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes) in all regions of the country that have been affected. The initiative actively operates at the international level to leverage the existing mechanisms of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the EU, and international criminal law.
The event is supported by USAID.