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U.N. investigators report rape, torture of children among Russian war crimes

U.N. investigators released a report Friday detailing Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Photo by Vladyslav Musienko/UPI
U.N. investigators released a report Friday detailing Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Photo by Vladyslav Musienko/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- A new repot by United Nations' investigators has concluded that Russian troops have raped and tortured children in Ukraine, carried out a large number of executions and committed other war crimes.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry reported their findings Friday, after visiting 27 towns and settlements and interviewing more than 150 victims and witnesses. The commission also said they are currently investigating deaths in 16 towns.

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"Based on the evidence gathered by the commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine," Erik Mose, the chairman of the three-member commission, told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Mose said that a number of the attacks that were investigated appeared to have been carried out without distinguishing between civilians and combatants. Many of these attacks were classified as executions.

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"Common elements of such crimes include the prior detention of the victims as well as visible signs of executions on bodies, such as hands tied behind backs, gunshot wounds to the head, and slit throats," Mose said.

Witnesses also told the investigators that they were forcibly transported to Russia and held for weeks in prisons and subject to various forms of torture. This is a subject of the ongoing investigations.

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"As it continues its investigation, it will examine the forced transfer of people and the alleged expedited adoption of children," Mose said.

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The investigators also worried about the mental health of children who have been affected. It found many cases where children were raped, tortured and even killed.

"The exposure to repeated explosions, crimes, forced displacement and separation from family members deeply affected their well-being and mental health," Mose said.

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