Russian leaders ‘really afraid of global anger’, says Zelenskyy
Human Rights Watch has documented several cases of Russian military forces committing violations of the laws of war against civilians in occupied areas of the Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and kyiv regions of Ukraine. These include a case of repeated rape; two cases of summary execution, one of six men, the other of one man; and other cases of unlawful violence and threats against civilians between February 27 and March 14, 2022.
Soldiers have also been implicated in the looting of civilian property, including food, clothing and firewood. Those who perpetrated these abuses are responsible for war crimes, Human Rights Watch said.
“The cases we have documented represent unspeakable and deliberate cruelty and violence against Ukrainian civilians,” said Hugh Williamson, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Rapes, murders and other acts of violence against persons detained by Russian forces should be investigated as war crimes.”
A policeman stands next to six unidentified charred bodies lying on the ground in a residential area of Bucha, on the outskirts of kyiv, Ukraine. Credit: Associated Press.
Human Rights Watch interviewed witnesses, victims, and local residents of Russian-occupied territories, in person or by telephone. Some people asked to be identified only by their first names or by pseudonyms for their protection.
- A woman told Human Rights Watch that a Russian soldier repeatedly raped her at a school in the Kharkiv region where she and her family had taken refuge on March 13. She said he beat her and cut her face, neck and hair with a knife. Human Rights Watch reviewed two photographs, which the woman shared with Human Rights Watch, showing her facial injuries.
- On March 6, Russian soldiers in the village of Vorzel, about 50 kilometers northwest of kyiv, threw a smoke grenade into a basement, then shot dead a woman and a 14-year-old child as they walked out. from the basement, where they had been sheltered.
- A 60-year-old man told Human Rights Watch that on March 4, a Russian soldier threatened to summarily execute him and his son in Zabuchchya, a village northwest of kyiv, after searching their home and found a shotgun and gasoline in the garden. .
- Russian forces in the village of Staryi Bykiv in the Chernihiv region arrested at least six men on February 27 and then executed them, according to the mother of one of the men.
- On March 4, Russian forces in Bucha, about 30 kilometers northwest of kyiv, arrested five men and summarily executed one of them.
- A witness told Human Rights Watch that soldiers forced the five men to kneel on the side of the road, pulled their T-shirts over their heads and shot one of the men in the back of the head. “He fell [over]said the witness, “and the women [present at the scene] shouted.
Source: Human Rights Watch report