Help us serve you better. Take a survey now

Take survey
Skip to content
Edit post

Prosecutor: 98,000 Russian war crimes identified in Ukraine

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk August 2, 2023 5:27 PM 2 min read
Russian soldier Vadim Shishimarin, 21, stands inside a cage after he was sentenced to life in prison by a Ukrainian court for killing an unarmed civilian in the first war crimes trial arising from Russia's Feb. 24 invasion, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 23, 2022 (Photo by Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.

Become a member Support us just once

Yurii Bielousov, the head of the War Crimes Department of Ukraine's Prosecutor General's Office, has stated that his team had recorded 98,000 war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

In an interview with Interfax Ukraine published on Aug. 2, he said that 99% of war crimes are subject to a Ukrainian investigation and those guilty will be punished by the Ukrainian authorities. The remaining 1% will be prosecuted by international partners, who have an "auxiliary function."

At the beginning of the war, he said that "there were expectations that someone would intervene," and all Russian war criminals would end up in the Hague. However, the process of investigations is long, "and the volumes are such that no one but us will do it," he stated.

Together with the National Police and Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the Prosecutor General's Office has identified hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers in Ukraine, he said.

Bielousov believes that there are "tens of thousands" of potential suspects. Since military personnel crossing a border during an armed conflict is "not a crime by international standards," not all Russian soldiers in Ukraine are suspects.

If the authorities do prosecute Russian soldiers for crossing into Ukraine, Bielousov believes it will mean that Ukraine will not be properly fulfilling its international obligations.

He said that there are currently 386 Russians who have been charged with war crimes, out of which 54 have been convicted, according to Bielousov. Of those, most have been tried in absentia, and only 15 have been brought to Ukrainian courts and tried under a normal procedure.

These are mainly "low-ranking soldiers, privates, or lower ranking officers," who are captured as prisoners of war, he said. Those who have committed serious crimes are not subject to prisoner exchanges with Russia.

Bielousov said he tells international partners not to conduct investigations in Ukraine, but teach the Ukrainian authorities best practices and give them the equipment needed.

"Give us a 'fishing rod'," he added, referencing the saying 'teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.' "We can do everything ourselves."

The United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine published a report in on March 16 that found Russia's relocation of Ukrainian children likely constitutes a war crime.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Kremlin official Maria Lvova-Belova, for the forced deportations of children from Ukraine.

How Russian soldiers shared evidence of their own war crime
Editor’s note: This story is the first account of the Kyiv Independent’s contributor, Anthony Bartaway, who witnessed Russian shelling targeting volunteers during relief efforts following the destruction of the Kakhovka dam and the ensuing devastating flooding in Kherson Oblast. After Russian force…
Support independent journalism in Ukraine. Join us in this fight.
Freedom can be costly. Both Ukraine and its journalists are paying a high price for their independence. Support independent journalism in its darkest hour. Support us for as little as $1, and it only takes a minute.
visa masterCard americanExpress

News Feed

1:34 PM

Macron says he hopes for Olympic truce.

"We want to work towards the Olympic truce and I think that this is an opportunity on which I will try to involve many of our partners," Macron said, speaking to BFMTV 100 days before the Olympics start in Paris.
Ukraine Daily
News from Ukraine in your inbox
Ukraine news
Please, enter correct email address
3:57 AM

Israel's UN Envoy: Listen to President Zelensky and wake up.

Permanent Representative of Israel to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, called on the international community to condemn the Iranian attack on Israel using the words of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the April 14 emergency U.N. Security Council meeting.
MORE NEWS

Editors' Picks

Enter your email to subscribe
Please, enter correct email address
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required

Subscribe

* indicates required
Subscribe
* indicates required
Successfuly subscribed
Thank you for signing up for this newsletter. We’ve sent you a confirmation email.