A United Nations commission of inquiry on Ukraine said on Friday it had found additional evidence that Russian forces had committed “indiscriminate attacks” and war crimes in Ukraine, including rape and the deportation of children to Russia.
“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 said in a report submitted to the U.N. General assembly, listing attacks in the cities of Uman and Kherson, among others.
“The Commission has recently documented attacks that affected civilian objects, such as residential buildings, a railway station, shops, and a warehouse for civilian use, leading to numerous casualties.”
Russia has vigorously denied committing atrocities or targeting civilians in Ukraine.
The commission said it had documented cases of rape “with the use of force or psychological coercion”.
“Most of the incidents occurred after the perpetrators broke into the victims’ homes,” it said. “Victims reported rapes at gunpoint and threats of killing or of inflicting other serious harm to the victims or their relatives.”
The commission added that it had documented the transfer of 31 children from Ukraine to Russia in May last and “concluded that it was an unlawful deportation and a war crime”.
Moscow has repeatedly denied forcibly taking Ukrainian children, saying it moved children found in orphanages or without parental care to Russia for their own safety and placed as many of as possible with relatives there.
The Russian diplomatic mission in Geneva did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the commission’s report.
The commission also found three cases of Ukrainian authorities have committed violations of human rights of people they have accused of collaborating with Russian authorities.