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Politico: Ukraine has evidence of 109,000 Russian war crimes, Prosecutor General says

by Dmytro Basmat November 19, 2023 3:54 AM 1 min read
Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin and Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan in Kyiv on Sept. 14, 2023. (Prosecutor General's Office)
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Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin said that Ukraine has collected evidence of 109,000 Russian war crimes in Ukraine, Politico reported on Nov. 18.

“It’s our commitment to decide to document, prosecute each and every incident, because each and every incident of war crimes has its victims," Kostin told Politico at the Halifax International Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The top prosecutor noted that Ukrainian officials have identified over 400 suspected war criminals, with around 300 having been indicted and 66 convicted. These numbers include four investigations into cyber war crime and 265 investigations into crimes against the environment, most of which result from Russia's attack on the Nova Kakhovka Dam earlier this year.

Kostin acknowledged the challenge of convicting war criminals who remain in Russia or who have evaded capture, though he said it was important to bring them to trial in absentia nonetheless.

“While all of them receive defense, it’s our position to ensure a fair trial for everyone, including Russian war criminals,” he said.

Last month, prosecutors in Germany received evidence of Russian war crimes in Ukraine in three cases filed by the Clooney Foundation for Justice. The cases were filed under the legal principle of universal jurisdiction, which stipulates that for certain serious crimes, countries have a duty to prosecute perpetrators of crimes that extend beyond the borders of the country where the acts were committed.

Prosecutors had also shared the dossiers with the International Criminal Court (ICC) so that the evidence can be included in their ongoing investigation.

Human rights law firm Global Rights Compliance (GRC) released a report on Nov. 16 containing evidence that the Russian government planned to starve the Ukrainian population and target food infrastructure ahead of the full-scale invasion in early 2022.

That evidence will also be presented to the ICC.

The ICC has previously issued arrest warrants for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russian official Maria Lvova-Belova over the unlawful deportation of children from occupied areas of Ukraine. The ICC has also started an investigation into the destruction of Nova Kakhovka Dam.

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