Ukraine probing over 21,000 alleged Russian war crimes

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova said that over 21,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression allegedly committed by Russia since it began its invasion of Kiev on February 24 is being investigated.

Speaking to the BBC on Wednesday, Venediktova claimed that she was receiving reports of between 200 to 300 war crimes on a daily basis.

She admitted that many trials would be held in absentia, but stressed that it was “a question of justice” to continue with the prosecutions.

Venediktova told the BBC that Russian soldiers who killed, tortured or raped civilians “should understand that it’s only a question of time when they all will be in court”.

She said that although her team was working in regions across Ukraine, it was unable to investigate all cases “properly and effectively” because of a lack of access to some people and areas.

In May, Venediktova had said that about 600 suspects had already been identified and 80 prosecutions had begun.

The first Russian soldier to be put on trial in Ukraine, Sgt Vadim Shishimarin, was sentenced to life in prison for killing a civilian.

The International Criminal Court has described Ukraine as a “crime scene”, dispatching its largest team of detectives ever to the country to assist in multiple investigations.

Russia has however, repeatedly denied all war crimes allegations and claims of targeting civilians.

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