Ukraine Investigates Over Two Dozen Cases of POW Executions by Occupiers

Written by Camilla Jessen

Apr.09 - 2024 11:44 AM CET

It has been reported that 54 Ukrainian prisoners of war were executed by occupying forces.

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he Prosecutor General's Office (OGP) of Ukraine is currently investigating numerous instances of human rights violations against Ukrainian prisoners of war (POWs) by the occupying forces, with a total of 27 criminal proceedings opened.

These investigations include the execution of 54 Ukrainian defenders.

Yuriy Belousov, head of the Department for Combating Crimes Committed in Conditions of Armed Conflict, disclosed these details during an appearance on "Suspilne," as reported by the OGP's press service.

A Policy of Brutality Exposed

The update comes in the wake of a video that surfaced on social media on April 7, purportedly showing the execution of Ukrainian POWs near Krynyk in the Kherson region. The specifics of the incident are still being verified.

In response to these revelations, Belousov emphasized the importance of caution and sensitivity towards the families of the deceased, urging the public to refrain from prematurely disclosing the names of the fallen.

Belousov stated, "Based on this fact and the previous ones, we also train the command that is responsible for such actions. It is not only about the commanders of units, but also about the highest military and political leadership. Because this is not an isolated case, but evidence of the policy of the Russian Federation."

Judicial Response and Documentation Challenges

The OGP has been actively documenting cases of POW executions since March 2022, with the first Russian soldier already convicted for executing a Ukrainian defender in the Chernihiv region.

These investigations are complicated due to limited access to crime scenes and the inability to examine the bodies directly.

Despite these challenges, Belousov assured that the documentation efforts persist, leveraging Ukraine's unique experience in gathering evidence without physical access to the territories in question.

Collaboration with the International Criminal Court, the UN Monitoring Mission, intelligence agencies, and non-governmental organizations is crucial for the OGP's work, as these entities assist in collecting information on war crimes.

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