Comment by the MFA of Ukraine on the Report of the second OSCE Moscow Mechanism Mission of Experts in the context of the war of the Russia against Ukraine

MFA of Ukraine underlines the importance of the OSCE’s experts Report, which documents numerous violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, war crimes, crimes against humanity and other atrocities committed by the Russian Federation and its armed forces during the ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine.

The Report stresses, in particular, that the magnitude and frequency of the indiscriminate attacks carried out against civilians and civilian objects, including in sites where no military facility was identified, is credible evidence that hostilities were conducted by Russian armed forces disregarding their fundamental obligation to comply with the basic principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution that constitute the fundamental basis of international humanitarian law. As a result, the considerable number of civilians have been killed or injured, and civilian objects have been damaged or destroyed in numerous towns and villages.

Mission confirmed that the Russian military is using incendiary and cluster munitions, phosphorus bombs and thermobaric weapons. Experts identified, that Russian armed forces have used at least six types of cluster munitions in attacks that have resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties and damage to civilian objects, including homes, hospitals, and schools, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

According to the report, the international human rights law has been extensively violated by the Russian occupation troops. Some of the most serious violations include:

  • targeted killing of civilians, including journalists, human rights defenders, or local mayors;
  • the illegal practice of establishment and use of so-called filtration centres by the Russian armed forces;
  • large-scale deportations of Ukrainian civilians to Russia;
  • various forms of ill-treatment, including torture, inflicted on detained civilians and prisoners of war;
  • unlawful detentions, abductions and enforced disappearances;
  • the imposition of the death penalty.

The events concerning the towns of Bucha and Irpin, which that were visited by the Mission, are described in the document as emblematic examples of the grave breaches by the Russian armed forces of international humanitarian law under the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, which constitute war crimes.

Mission also identified that such actions as the export by Russian occupation forces of the Ukrainian grain from the country reveal signs of an organized activity and these acts amount to violations of international humanitarian and human rights law and must be properly investigated, those responsible for them brought to justice and those having suffered compensated for.

MFA of Ukraine takes the view that the Report of the second OSCE Moscow Mechanism Mission of experts constitutes an important contribution to the international community’s efforts on documenting crimes of the aggressor-state, ensuring justice and holding accountable all masterminds and perpetrators of the crimes of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.