Russian occupiers tortured Ukrainians so brutally that some of their victims died, and forced families to listen as they raped women next door, members of a U.N.-mandated investigative body said on Monday (September 25), in their latest findings from the field.
Erik Møse, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva his team had "collected further evidence indicating that the use of torture by Russian armed forces in areas under their control has been widespread and systematic".
Russia denies committing atrocities or targeting civilians in Ukraine. Møse said the commissions attempts to communicate with Russia had gone unanswered. Moscow was given an opportunity to respond to the allegations at the council hearing but no Russian representative attended. Russia’s defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Asked at a later press briefing about the number of torture cases resulting in death, commission member Pablo de Greiff said it was impossible to know due to restricted access, but that it was a "fairly large number and…it comes from very different regions across the country, close and far from the lines of battle".
The commission has previously said that violations committed by Russian forces in Ukraine, including the use of torture, may constitute crimes against humanity.
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