According to the UN Human Rights Office, there are increasing signs of war crimes in Ukraine.
Russian forces have indiscriminately shelled and bombed inhabited areas, killing civilians and destroying hospitals, schools and other civilian infrastructure, the Geneva office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet reported. In addition to indiscriminate attacks and the refusal of medical help, there are hundreds of reports of arbitrary killings and sexual violence. Such acts would amount to war crimes.
“There is already a bloodbath[in Ukraine],” said bureau spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani. “We are anxiously awaiting what comes next. Even war has rules and they must be respected.”
The attack on the train station in Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, where cluster munitions killed 60 civilians on April 8, shows that the principles of international humanitarian law are being disregarded, Bachelet said. There are also increasing signs of indiscriminate killings, including in Bucha, a suburb of the capital Kyiv. Civilians are being held against their will and there are reports of torture, ill-treatment and disappearances. Five abductees have been found dead.
Apparently, Ukrainian armed forces also used weapons indiscriminately in the east of the country, accepted civilian casualties and destroyed civilian infrastructure. There are also reports that Ukrainian forces or their allies are holding prisoners incommunicado.
Bachelet appealed to all sides to comply with international humanitarian law. This included, inter alia, that there was a distinction between various and civilian targets, that civilians were not targeted and that no one was tortured.
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