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U.N. panel says Russia committed war crimes. Here’s what the investigation found

A group of experts in a United Nation panel presented evidence of Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine

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Erik Mose, chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, and other commissioners talk to the media in Geneva, Switzerland.

Erik Mose, center, chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, Jasminka Dzumhur, left, and Pablo de Greiff, right, Commissioners of Inquiry on Ukraine, talk to the media during a press conference following an update to the U.N. Human Rights Council, at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. A team of experts commissioned by the U.N.’s top human rights body to look into rights violations in Ukraine said Friday its initial investigation turned up evidence of war crimes in the country following Russia’s invasion nearly seven months ago.

Salvatore Di Nolfi, Keystone via Associated Press

The United Nations commissioned a group of experts to investigate war crimes committed by Russia in Ukraine, according to The Associated Press. On Friday, the group presented the evidence it found of war crimes committed after Russia’s invasion.

What war crimes did Russia commit?

Here is what the panel found evidence of during its investigation:

  • Rape, torture, unlawful confinement toward citizens and children.
  • Sexual violence of victims between the ages 4 and 82.
  • Torture such as beatings, electric shocks and forced nudity.
  • Executions, including bodies found with tied hands, slit throats and gunshot wounds in the head.
  • Children killed from explosive weapon attacks.
  • Forced deportation of over 900,000 Ukrainian citizens, and reports that showed deportations of Ukrainian children to Russian orphanages.

The panel is still investigating other alleged violations, according to The New York Times.

Where did the U.N. panel investigate?

Reuters reported that the panel focused on regions of Ukraine that were under Russian occupation. The four primary areas it focused on were Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv and Sumy.

Overall the commission investigated 27 towns, graves and torture centers, per The Associated Press.

What is Russia’s reaction to the discovered war crimes?

Russia was supposed to be in attendance at the presentation to respond to the allegations, but the country’s seat was empty. There has been no statement from Russia on the investigation, but in the past, it has denied purposefully attacking civilians, according to Reuters.