A UN commission tasked with investigating the conduct of Russian troops in Ukraine revealed on Monday that Putin’s forces are “committing war crimes” and torturing people to death, including speaking to survivors who said they were electrocuted for what they “felt like an eternity.”
In the Kherson region alone, “Russian soldiers raped and sexually assaulted women between the ages of 19 and 83,” often with family members “held in an adjacent room and therefore forced to listen to the violations taking place” , the UN. The Human Rights Office reported, citing the Independent International Commission of Inquiry into Ukraine’s findings.
“The commission is concerned about the continuing evidence of war crimes committed by Russian armed forces in Ukraine,” its president, Eric Mose, told the UN Human Rights Council on Monday.
“The Commission is now undertaking more in-depth investigations into illegal explosive weapons attacks, attacks affecting civilians, torture, sexual and gender-based violence and attacks on energy infrastructure,” he added.
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The UN Human Rights Office said: “One victim of electric shock torture said: ‘Every time I answered that I didn’t know or didn’t remember something, they gave me an electric shock… I don’t know how long it lasted. It felt like an eternity.’
Mose also told the council on Monday that “the main targets of torture were people accused of being informers of the Ukrainian armed forces.
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“The Commission found that torture took place primarily in various detention centers controlled by the Russian authorities,” he continued. “Similar methods of torture were used in various facilities during the interrogations, mainly aimed at extracting information from the victims. This led to severe pain and suffering.”
“In some cases, torture was inflicted with such brutality that it resulted in the death of the victim,” Mose also said.
Commission member Pablo de Grief later told reporters that it was not clear exactly how many cases of torture had resulted in death, but that it was “quite a large number and … coming from very different areas across the country, near and far from the lines of battle,” according to Reuters.
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The news agency says Russia was given an opportunity to respond to the allegations at the Human Rights Council meeting, but no one representing Moscow attended.