Russia charges Ukraine army with war crimes

Moscow has charged 92 members of the Ukrainian armed forces with crimes against humanity, the head of Russia’s investigative committee has said.

Alexander Bastrykin told government newspaper, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, that over 1,300 criminal investigations had begun.

He also proposed an international tribunal backed by countries including Iran, Syria and Bolivia – traditional allies of Russia.

Ukraine was also conducting its own war crimes investigations.

As well as the 92 who have already been charged by Russia, some 96 people, including 51 armed forces commanders, were wanted, Mr Bastrykin said.

The Ukrainians were involved in “crimes against the peace and security of humanity”, he told the paper.

The BBC has been unable to verify claims made in the interview and Kyiv has not commented.

But this month, Ukraine said it was examining more than 21,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression allegedly committed by Russian forces since the start of the invasion in February.

And in May, the first war crimes trial since the invasion began took place in Ukraine, where a court jailed a Russian tank commander for life for killing a civilian.

The International Criminal Court (ICC), which has described Ukraine as a “crime scene”, has also sent a team of investigators and forensic experts to Ukraine.

The Kremlin denied all war crimes, or that it has been targeting civilians. It has regularly blamed Ukraine for shelling its own infrastructure and killing its own civilians – accusations which have been widely dismissed by international leaders.

When asked in the interview whether a United Nations (UN)-backed trial could take place, Mr Bastrykin accused the West of openly sponsoring “Ukrainian nationalism” and said such a thing “is extremely doubtful”.

Moscow has repeatedly made the false claim that Ukraine was overrun by neo-Nazis as justification for what it called a “special military operation”.

Mr Bastrykin instead proposed that an international tribunal should be set up with countries that have “an independent position on the Ukrainian issue” – in particular Syria, Iran and Bolivia.

Syria and Iran both voted against a UN resolution in March condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, while Bolivia abstained. -BBC

Show More
Back to top button