Los Angeles, Oct 22 - The Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) to Ukraine, a unit operating under the umbrella of the international human rights agency WEST SUPPORT, has, over the course of its mission from April 1, 2022, to October 1, 2023, diligently documented and identified a staggering 3,965 instances of violent crimes against civilians. These crimes, which include murders, sexual assaults, torture, and unlawful detention, form a distressing pattern that unequivocally points to the systemic nature of the war crimes committed by Russian forces on the occupied territories of Ukraine.
A Comprehensive Investigation
The SMM, carried out a meticulous and extensive mission across 85 settlements that had fallen under occupation, including but not limited to prominent names such as Bucha, Irpin, Borodyanka, and Izyum. Thirty-five members of the Special Monitoring Mission conducted in-depth interviews with more than 31,000 individuals residing in these affected areas, covering an extensive 7,000 square kilometers of territory. Additionally, 14 exhumations were conducted on the remains of individuals who had been subjected to horrific torture and ultimately lost their lives.
The Systemic Nature of the Crimes
The undeniable evidence derived from these investigations reinforces the alarming conclusion that these war crimes are not isolated incidents but part of a deeply ingrained pattern. It is evident that these crimes were not the result of individual actions, but rather a coordinated and systematic effort. The international community must confront the troubling reality that these actions constitute an affront to the principles of international humanitarian law.
Seeking Justice and Accountability
The systemic nature of these war crimes demands unwavering international attention, action, and accountability. These findings underscore the urgency of bringing those responsible for these heinous crimes to justice. The international community, including the International Criminal Court and other relevant bodies, must continue to investigate and hold individuals accountable for their actions.
The Special Monitoring Mission reiterates its commitment to documenting such atrocities and encourages the world to stand firm in the pursuit of justice for the victims and their families. These war crimes are a stain on humanity, and the world must unite in condemning and preventing such actions.
With the full report, available for download below.