A report from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe released Thursday found that a series of wartime practices by Russian forces in Ukraine qualified as crimes against humanity, CNN reported.
OSCE experts said they traveled to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian authorities regarding the Kremlin’s devastation of the surrounding region.
While in the suburbs of Bucha and Irpin, the experts said they witnessed substantial violations of human rights law, including “killing, rape abductions or massive deportations of civilians, qualified as a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population.
“These violations included mistreatment of prisoners of war, [the] deliberate killing of civilians, deliberate attacks against civilians and against civilian objects, including schools, hospitals or cultural property, or the failure to respect the principles of distinction, proportionality, and precautions,” the experts wrote.
Among the individual atrocities was the transfer of 2,000 Ukrainian children from orphanages and institutions to the Russian mainland. In addition, the OSCE reported that Moscow engaged in “targeted, organized killings” via torture chambers and using human shields in Bucha.
“Russian soldiers used over 300 Ukrainian civilians as human shields and held them captive for 25 days in March in the basement of Yahidne School, where a major Russian military camp was located,” the report read.
The latest OSCE report is the second released by the group. In April, the group detailed that “clear patterns” existed of Russian troops violating international law during their initial offensive in southern Ukraine.
Specifically, regarding the shelling of a civilian hospital in Mariupol, experts wrote at the time it constituted “a clear violation of [international humanitarian law] and those responsible for it have committed a war crime.”