Ukraine names 10 Russian soldiers accused of war crimes in Bucha

Ukraine’s prosecutor general accuses soldiers of ‘torture of peaceful people’

Lamiat Sabin
Friday 29 April 2022 00:50
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Putin promises 'immediate' reaction if Russia threatened

Ukraine has accused 10 Russian soldiers of abusing human rights during the occupation of Bucha.

Iryna Venediktova, the Ukrainian prosecutor general, said the soldiers were involved in killings and torture of unarmed civilians.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, she posted the names and photos of the troops – two sergeants, four corporals and four privates.

She said that they were all “involved in the torture of peaceful people” during the month-long occupation of Bucha, a small commuter town almost 19 miles north-west of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

The soldiers were part of the 64th Motor Rifle Brigade, a unit based in the Khabarovsk region of the far east of Russia, Ms Venediktova said.

She wrote in her post: “During the occupation of Bucha, they took unarmed civilians hostage, killed them with hunger and thirst, and kept them on their knees with their hands tied and their eyes taped.

Volunteers load bodies of civilians killed in Bucha onto a truck to be taken to a morgue

“[Hostages] were mocked and beaten with fists and the rifle stocks. They were beaten for information about the location of the armed forces ... and some were tortured for no reason at all.”

Ms Venediktova appealed to the public to help gather evidence, and said that Ukrainian prosecutors and police are investigating whether any of the men were also involved in homicides.

She also said that Ukraine has evidence that the soldiers had “robbed locals, taking personal belongings and ‘trophy’ household appliances.”

Iryna Venediktova with International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan in Bucha

Ms Venediktova has told a German television channel that Ukrainian investigators have identified at least 8,000 cases of war crimes – including murder, torture, sexual crimes such as rape, and bombing civilian infrastructure – since Vladimir Putin launched Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Stanislav Kozynchuk, the deputy head of the prosecutor’s office for the Kyiv region, said that investigators are working with victims to identify the perpetrators of human rights abuses.

“Our suspects are military personnel from the Russian Federation,” he said. “We understand who was there, what happened, and now we are looking into these military units which participated in the killings.”

Some of the soldiers involved in such abuses have already been redeployed to fight in eastern Ukraine, he said.

Earlier, the International Criminal Court in the Hague said it will ramp up its investigation into alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine since February.

The Dutch government said it will send dozens of forensic specialists to Ukraine “very soon” on behalf of the ICC to gather evidence.

The Kremlin has rejected any accusations of war crimes against its soldiers. Russian state TV channels have claimed that images of dead civilians in Bucha were fake or that Ukrainian troops had killed them.

Putin, when meeting UN secretary general Antonio Guterres in Moscow on Tuesday, claimed that his troops had “no connections to Bucha”.

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