A/78/540: Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine - Note by the Secretary-General (Advance Unedited Version)

United Nations

The present report is submitted to the General Assembly by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 52/32, which renewed the Commission’s initial mandate for one additional year. As the armed conflict continues in its second year, it has further contributed to suffering and hardship for thousands of affected civilians.

The Commission has found new evidence that Russian authorities have committed violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, and corresponding crimes, in areas that came under their control in Ukraine. It documented additional indiscriminate attacks by Russian armed forces, which have led to deaths and injuries of civilians and the destruction and damage of civilian objects. The collected evidence further shows that Russian authorities have committed the war crimes of wilful killing, torture, rape and other sexual violence, and the deportation of children to the Russian Federation.

The Commission’s investigations confirmed its previous finding that Russian authorities have used torture in a widespread and systematic way in various types of detention facilities which they maintained. Interviews with victims and witnesses illustrated a profound disregard towards human dignity by Russian authorities in these circumstances. The Commission also documented cases in which Russian soldiers burst into houses of villages they occupied, raped women and a girl, and committed additional war crimes against the victims and their family members.

In three cases, investigations found that Ukrainian authorities have committed violations of human rights against persons whom they have accused of collaboration with the Russian authorities. The Commission is concerned at the gravity of the documented violations and crimes and their impact on victims, survivors, and the affected communities. It calls upon the concerned conflict parties to halt war crimes and violations of human rights.

The Commission also reiterates the importance of accountability, in all its dimensions, with full respect and care for the rights of the victims.