Amnesty International. Russia must face justice for war crimes | Radio WGN 720
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Amnesty International says it has documented numerous war crimes committed by Russian forces in communities around Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, including arbitrary executions, bombings of residences and torture.
“The pattern of crimes committed by Russian forces that we have documented includes both unlawful attacks and intentional killings of civilians,” Agnes Callamard, secretary general of Amnesty International, said in a statement on Friday. “It is vital that all those responsible, including at the top of the chain of command, are brought to justice.”
The organization said it collected evidence and testimonies in eight towns near Kyiv, including Bucha. After Russian forces withdrew from Bucha in April, corpses were found lying in the streets, many with their hands tied behind their backs, and in mass graves. Kyiv Regional Governor Oleksandr Pavlyuk said at least 1,235 civilian bodies had been found in the area.
Russia has always maintained that it only hits targets of military value. He denied the war crimes allegations and claimed Bucha’s corpses had been tampered with as a “provocation”.
The AI report describes the shooting in Bucha of Yevhen Petrashenko, a 43-year-old sales manager, who was shot dead in his kitchen while his wife and children were hiding in the basement. The Russian army allowed his wife, Tatiana, to enter the apartment, where she found her husband’s corpse.
“Yevhen was lying dead in the kitchen. He had been shot in the back, (near his) lungs and liver. His body remained in the flat until March 10, when we were able to bury him in a shallow grave in the yard,” she said.
Their neighbor Leonid Bodnarchuk, a 44-year-old construction worker, was shot dead by Russian soldiers as he climbed the stairs, then the military threw a grenade into the stairwell, according to the report.
The executions at Bucha were carried out with specialized rifles used by some elite Russian units, according to the report. Amnesty International staff found 9 x 39mm black tip 7N12 armor-piercing bullets at the crime scene, which are used by elite units of the Russian military.
The investigation also described the bombardment of the town of Borodyanka, during which at least 40 people were killed in indiscriminate shelling which destroyed eight residential buildings.
He quoted Borodyanka resident Vasyl Yaroshenko as saying he had left his multi-story residence for his garage when a bomb hit the house.
“I saw a big void in the building,” he said, according to the report. “My wife Halina was among those killed. I can still see her outside the door of our apartment, the house where we lived for 40 years.
The report said researchers found evidence documenting specific Russian military units involved, including training manuals belonging to the driver of the 104th Airborne Forces Regiment.
“We met families whose loved ones were killed in horrific attacks and whose lives were changed forever because of the Russian invasion,” Callamard said. “We support their demands for justice and call on the Ukrainian authorities, the International Criminal Court and others to ensure that evidence is preserved, which could support future war crimes prosecutions.
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