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UN records 142 cases of Russia's summary executions of Ukrainian civilians

by Martin Fornusek December 19, 2023 5:19 PM 1 min read
Freshly dug graves for unidentified civilians killed by the Russian military in the Bucha massacre in February-March 2022, at the city cemetery in Bucha, Kyiv Oblast. (Oleksandra Butova/ Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
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Russia's suspected violations in Ukraine include 142 summary executions of Ukrainian civilians in occupied territories by Russian troops since the start of the full-scale invasion, UN human rights chief Volker Turk said on Dec. 19.

The numbers that the UN regularly provides on casualties of Russia's war against Ukraine include only cases that could be safely verified, and actual figures are most likely higher.

Turk noted that his team's monitoring in Ukraine "continues to indicate gross violations of international human rights law, serious violations of international humanitarian law, and war crimes," primarily by Russian forces.

"On occupied territory, we have documented widespread torture and ill-treatment of detainees, including sexual violence, as well as large numbers of enforced disappearances," the UN official said at a meeting of the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

The UN said in November that at least 10,000 civilians had been confirmed as killed, and over 18,500 had been injured as a result of Russia's all-out war against Ukraine.

In Bucha alone, 461 civilians were killed by Russia, according to the fundraising initiative UNITED24.

The death toll of civilians in occupied territories is impossible to establish with certainty. While the UN confirmed the death of 1,348 civilians in the brutal siege of Mariupol, the organization noted the real figure was "likely thousands higher."

According to Prosecutor General Andrii Kostin, Ukraine has collected evidence of 109,000 Russian war crimes as of Nov. 18.

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