A Nightmarish New Report Has Detailed Russia’s War Crimes In Ukraine

A 14-year-old boy killed in a summary execution.

Girls as young as 4 and women as old as 82 subjected to sexual violence. 

A priest brutally beaten, then stripped naked and forced to parade naked through the streets of his village for an hour.

These were among the nightmarish findings of a new UN-backed report released Thursday that found Russia has committed war crimes and likely crimes against humanity during its yearlong invasion of Ukraine.

The three international experts appointed to serve as investigators with the Human Rights Council’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine concluded that Russia was guilty of grave violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws.

These included indiscriminate bombings of areas with civilian populations and targeted attacks against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, as well as torture, unlawful confinement, summary executions, and rape. 

“The Commission is concerned with the number, the geographic spread, and the gravity of human rights violations and corresponding international crimes which it has documented during its mandate,” the investigators wrote in their report. “These have affected men, women, boys and girls of all backgrounds and ages.”

The report is likely to have little practical effect on Russia, but it will increase pressure for the country to be held accountable by the International Criminal Court.

At the very least, the report also functions as a historical record of the abuses committed by Russia, which did not cooperate with the investigation.

As one man whose father was executed by members of the Russian military in a village in the Kharkiv region told the investigators, “They punished innocent people; now those who are guilty, if they are still alive, need to be punished to the fullest extent.”