Tuesday, 15 November ‘22

This week’s overview of key events and links to essential reading.

Tuesday, 15 November ‘22

This week’s overview of key events and links to essential reading.

Tuesday, 15 November, 2022

UN Adopts Russian Reparations Resolution

On November 14, the UN general assembly adopted a resolution recognising that Russia must be held to account for any violations of international law in or against Ukraine.

The document, co-sponsored by nearly 50 nations, recommends “the creation an international Register of Damage to serve as a record, in documentary form, of evidence and claims information on damage, loss or injury to all natural and legal persons concerned, as well as the state of Ukraine, caused by the Russian Federation’s internationally wrongful acts in or against Ukraine, as well as to promote and coordinate evidence gathering”.

It also calls for the “establishment, in cooperation with Ukraine, of an international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss or injury”.

Evidence Gathering Begins in Kherson Area

Ukrainian investigators have found evidence of hundreds of war crimes within days of liberating the city of Kherson on November 11, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced.

“Investigators have already documented more than 400 Russian war crimes, the bodies of both civilians and military personnel are being found,” he said in a televised address.

Some 200 police officers have been deployed in the city of Kherson as part of stabilisation measures, including ten groups of explosives technicians. Officials report that critical infrastructure and residential buildings had been mined en masse by the retreating Russian forces.

On November 14, Ukrainian prosecutor general Andriy Kostin said that ten mobile war crimes investigation units were already working in the Kherson region. “This week, their number is expected to increase to 30,” he added.

Home Destructions an International Crime - UN Expert

UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing Balakrishnan Rajagopal said during a presentation of his report to the UN general assembly that “we should stop shutting our eyes to widespread or systematic destruction of civilian homes in conflict,” adding that the crime needed to be described as “domicide”.

In his statement he noted that “the attacking, bombing and shelling of civilian targets and the destruction of entire cities and villages – displacing millions into homelessness – have continued unabated despite the development of modern human rights and humanitarian law”.

He argued that the systematic and deliberate mass destruction of homes during violent conflict should be classified as an international crime.

Unlawful Transfer of Civilians

Amnesty International’s new report Like a Prison Convoy details Russia’s illegal transfer of Ukrainian civilians from the occupied territories and describes it as a war crime.  

“Children have been separated from their families during the process, in violation of international humanitarian law,” it reports, adding that “Russia’s unlawful transfer of civilians is a war crime and likely a crime against humanity”.

Ukrainian authorities reported that since the full-scale invasion began, the occupying forces had taken 6,032 children to the Russian Federation and to territories out of Kyiv’s control. Only 69 children had been returned.

Three Categories of War Crimes

According to the office of the Ukrainian prosecutor general, more than 46,000 war crimes have been registered since the full-scale invasion began. They fall into three categories: those committed in the occupied territories, civilian deaths and destruction of infrastructure due to shelling, missile strikes and the use of UAVs, and crimes discovered after the liberation of territories by the armed forces of Ukraine.

Separately, the Ukrainian T4P NGO recorded 23,419 war crimes based on human losses and destroyed infrastructure.

T4P, a global initiative created by Ukrainian civil society groups, is collecting data on Russian crimes for future trials.

Three Russian Indicted for Irpin Crimes

Police investigators informed three Russian soldiers of the formal suspicion that they had shot a man and mistreated residents of Irpin, according to official information.

Investigators established that in March 2022, during the occupation of the city of Irpin, Russian soldiers “used physical and psychological violence” against the local population, the police statement read.

If convicted under Art 438, the violation of laws and customs of war of the criminal code of Ukraine, they face between 10 to 15 years or life imprisonment.

This publication was prepared under the “Ukraine Voices Project" implemented with the financial support of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

Support our journalists