Russia charges 600 Ukrainians with war crimes – Russian media

Russia has committed ‘crimes against humanity’ says Harris

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Russia has charged over 500 Ukrainian officials with war crimes, including 118 members of the military. The charges against 680 people include using weapons against civilians, reported the Russian media agency TASS on Monday (February 20). The charges are based on Article 356 of the Russian criminal code.

Russia, which is in the middle of invading a sovereign country, charged the Ukrainians with the “use of prohibited means and methods of warfare”, a chief investigator told TASS.

Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of Russia, confirmed 680 have been charged and that 138 of these are in absentia.

He said: “Currently, prosecution procedures are carried out against 680 people.

“Among the defendants are 118 people from among the commanders and leadership of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.”

Since fighting over Ukrainian land started in 2014, Russia has claimed Ukrainians have been involved in a variety of criminal activities, including “genocide” against Russian-speaking people in the Donbas and attacking civilians in Russian regions during the current war.

But the West has been building its own case against Russia, whose war crimes at times have appeared blatant.

The UN Human Rights Council has confirmed the Russians have been involved in war crimes, including civilian executions in Bucha.

US Vice President Kamala Harris recently said Russia has embarked on “widespread and systematic” attacks against civilians in Ukraine.

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Speaking at the Munich Security Conference, she said: “In the case of Russia’s actions in Ukraine we have examined the evidence, we know the legal standards, and there is no doubt: these are crimes against humanity.

“And I say to all those who have perpetrated these crimes, and to their superiors who are complicit in these crimes, you will be held to account.”

Ukraine has so far registered over 70,000 Russian war crimes since the invasion in February last year, according to Ukraine’s Prosecutor Office.

Both countries have denied committing war crimes during the conflict.

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