Investigating sexual violence as war crimes — "He Came Back"
Our War Crimes Investigations Unit released its new documentary, “He Came Back”. The film is about two cases of sexual violence committed by Russian soldiers during the occupation of Kherson and Kyiv oblasts in 2022 — and the process of identifying the offenders. Watch it on our YouTube channel.
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In this aerial view, smoke rises from the Ukrainian border city of in Vovchansk, Ukraine, on May 17, 2024. Ukraine has been evacuating civilians from around Vovchansk as Russian forces advance in the area and are bombarding the city daily with heavy artillery. (Libkos/Getty Images)
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Russian forces in the embattled town of Vovchansk are shooting civilians as they try to escape the fighting, Ukrainian police said on May 22.

Speaking on air to KYIV24, Oleksii Kharkivskyi, the town's police chief, said there had been "several" incidents and investigations were "ongoing."

Around 100 Ukrainian civilians remain in Vovchansk, but Russian forces refuse to allow them to leave and have threatened to shoot them, Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on state television on May 21.

Syniehubov said those who remained in Vovchansk would be evacuated at the soonest possible opportunity but that 100 civilians had been effectively "taken hostage" by Russian troops and could not leave.

Kharkivskyi said civilians were trying to flee the fighting by crossing the Vovcha River, which flows through Vovchansk, and this is where Russian forces were firing on them.

The police chief added that this continues to be an escape route, and on May 21, police helped eight people who had managed to make it across.

Syniehubov said on May 20 that more than 10,500 civilians had been evacuated from Kharkiv Oblast amid the renewed Russian onslaught.

Deputy Governor Roman Semenukha said on the same day that Ukrainian forces control about 60% of Vovchansk amid continuous Russian assaults.

"The enemy keeps trying, especially inside Vovchansk, to push the Ukrainian Armed Forces out of the town," he added.

Ukraine's Defense Ministry confirmed on May 15 that Russian units had entered the northern parts of the settlement.

The town is described by Ukrainian officials as almost destroyed, while Russia keeps attacking Vovchansk and other neighboring settlements, inflicting civilian casualties.

Governor: Around 100 civilians remain in Vovchansk, Russians have threatened to shoot them
Kharkiv Oblast Governor Oleh Syniehubov said on May 20 that more than 10,500 civilians had been evacuated from Kharkiv Oblast amid the renewed Russian onslaught.
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