The investigation by three human rights experts initially focused on the initial phase of Russia’s attack on Ukraine in February and March this year, and on the regions of Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy. While visiting these areas, the commission discovered a large-scale execution. The victims were often tied up before death, many with gunshot wounds to the head or slit throats.
Head of the team of investigators Mose mentioned that Russian forces also used explosive devices in populated areas, causing great damage and suffering to the civilian population. In several attacks, the attackers did not distinguish between civilians and soldiers, so they also used cluster munitions in densely populated areas.
Mose also added that eyewitnesses gave consistent testimony about torture and abuse in captivity. Some victims said that they were taken to Russia and kept there for several weeks, while others were lost. Torture methods include beatings and electric shocks.
Confirmed cases of sexual abuse of children
The group also confirmed cases of sexual and gender-based violence. In some cases, they have already established that the perpetrators were Russian soldiers. In some cases, relatives had to watch the crimes. According to Mose, victims of sexual and gender-based violence range in age from four to 82 years old.
They also discovered several crimes against children, including rape, torture and illegal detention.
Abuses were also missed by the Ukrainian forces
Among the war crimes, the commission also found two cases where Ukrainian forces abused Russian soldiers. “Although these cases are few, we pay attention to them,” he said.
According to Mose, the investigation is currently underway in 16 places, and the commission has received credible tips about many other cases that it will try to investigate.
The Czech Republic refused asylum to Russians on the run
After being the president of Russia Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization of 300,000 conscripts for the war in Ukraine, many Russian citizens began to look for ways to avoid it.
Some decided to leave the country. In the summer, neighboring countries that allow Russians to enter without a visa were almost fully occupied, and the prices of plane tickets rose by leaps and bounds. Estonia and Latvia have already announced that Russian citizens cannot count on asylum.
Similarly, the Czech Republic announced that it will not issue humanitarian visas to Russian citizens. This was confirmed by Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky
Still others protested the partial mobilization ordered by the president. More than 1,300 people were arrested in protests across Russia against the partial mobilization on Wednesday.
Zelensky accused the Russians of complicity in war crimes in Ukraine: “Because you were silent.”
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called on Russians on Thursday to resist the partial mobilizations. “During these six months of war, 55,000 Russian soldiers died,” Zelenski said in his regular nightly address.”Want more? No? Then protest. Fight on. Run away. Or surrender” to the Ukrainian army, he urged.
He accused the Russians of being complicit in crimes in Ukraine. “You are already complicit in all these crimes, murders and tortures of Ukrainians. Because you were quiet. Because you are quiet.“
“And now it’s time to choose: for men in Russia, it’s a choice to die or live, to become disabled or to stay healthy. For women in Russia, the choice is to lose their husbands, sons, grandchildren forever, or still try to protect them from death, from war, from one man (Putin),” he continued.
In his address to the Ukrainians, Zelensky said that Russia’s partial mobilization is a sign of Kiev’s strength. According to him, this means that the war will no longer be just a televised event for the Russians, but will enter real life.
Kadyrov (for now) refused to mobilize in Chechnya
Chechen leader and main ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin Ramzan Kadyrov said in a television interview that Chechen mothers and wives can remain calm, making it clear that there will be no general mobilization.
He said that so far 20,000 Chechens have been sent to the war in Ukraine, which means that the country has more than fulfilled its plans. “In addition, Chechnya still has several thousand volunteers in reserve who, if necessary, will be able to join the ranks for its defense.“
At the same time, he also said that Chechnya changed its plan “by 254 percent (…) Even before the partial mobilization in Russia, we formed a new Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation.“
Putin ordered a partial mobilization on Wednesday, a day after pro-Russian authorities in four regions of Ukraine occupied by Russian forces announced referendums on joining Russia. Referendums in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia begin today and are expected to last until Tuesday.
IT workers, bankers and journalists are exceptions to mobilization
The Russian Ministry of Defense has announced that there will be an exception for certain people in the case of partial mobilization. Employees in high-tech industries, bankers and journalists employed by state-owned media houses will avoid conscription for now. As they explained, some sectors are excluded in order to “ensured the smooth operation of certain high-tech industries as well as the Russian financial system”, writes the BBC.