According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch, the atrocities allegedly committed by Russian soldiers in the Ukrainian city of Bucha are classified as war crimes.

According to the human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) in Bucha, Ukraine extensive evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to a report by the organization, local staff documented mass executions, indiscriminate shootings of civilians, disappearances and torture, and the use of booby traps.

“Nearly every corner of Bucha is now a crime scene, and it felt like death was everywhere,” said HRW staffer Richard Weir. The evidence indicated that the now withdrawn Russian forces occupying the Bucha “disregarded civilian life and the most basic principles of martial law”.

surveys and recordings

For their investigations, the human rights activists interviewed 32 residents of the city personally and five others by telephone. In addition, evidence was documented on site, and photos and videos as well as satellite images were viewed.

According to Human Rights Watch, Ukraine’s prosecutor for the region, Ruslan Kravchenko, said 278 bodies, mostly civilians, were found in Bucha by April 15 after Russian troops withdrew on March 31. More dead would be discovered.

Images of killed Ukrainian civilians from the suburbs of the capital Kyiv sparked global outrage earlier this month. A total of more than 400 bodies were found in Bucha, some with their hands tied behind their backs. The Ukrainian secret service spoke of “mass murder”.

Russia denies having anything to do with the atrocities. International investigations are now underway. There are numerous calls for those responsible to be brought before an international court.

hope for a legal settlement

HRW emphasized that official safeguarding of evidence with international help is crucial in order to be able to hold those responsible to account. She called on Ukraine to ratify the International Criminal Court treaty and become a formal member of the court in The Hague.

conflicting parties as a source

In the current situation, information on the course of the war, shelling and casualties provided by official bodies of the Russian and Ukrainian conflict parties cannot be directly checked by an independent body.