The report will be sent to International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“Russian War Crimes in Eastern Ukraine in 2014” is the title of the report published in Poland by polish activists. The report contains 153 pages and documents cases of torture by the Russian military and the Ukrainian pro-Russian terrorists. It is available for free download in Polish and English.
The publication of the report was prompted by the Polish Sejm Deputy from the ruling party Law and Justice Malgorzata Gosiewska who also worked as a volunteer collecting the data.
The introduction of the report describes the methodology used by the authors when they collected material. Chapter 4 has the concrete details about the places and ways the crimes were committed, it also contains information about the perpetrators. Only the crimes of which the authors of the report learned from the victims themselves were described there. More than 60 victims of torture provided information for the report.
The fourth chapter is also divided into parts based on the whereabouts of the crime scene. Majority of these places are in the east of Ukraine, one is in Crimea, another – on the territory of the Russian Federation, where Russian troops took Ukrainian prisoners.
The fifth section is a catalog of perpetrators of crimes described in the report. It contains, in particular, a written summary of their characteristics, as well as the description of the crime scenes with photos.
Victims testifying for the record were marked with the letter C (“case” in English) and the number. Photos and other data are published in the report with the relevant consent of the victims.
Belsat interviewed Malgorzata Gosiewska on the matter:
– How did the report come up?
– For many years I have been dealing with the eastern policy, and when the revolution began I became actively engaged in surveillance of the events… I made a lot of trips in which I became familiar with the people – and people there knew me a little… When a regular war with the Russian Federation broke out, I started to go there with humanitarian and medical aid. I met people who in different ways escaped from captivity. I learned about them, witnesses spoke about them. Finally, I reached out to them. As it turned out, nobody documented the war crimes, no one talked to people and collect their testimonies. And, above all, nobody established the perpetrators of those crimes. THus came the idea to start this document. In Poland I found specialists who were willing to go with me to the East. In addition, they were volunteers, for free. After all, the whole thing is based on volunteerism – Polish and, of course, Ukrainian one. Without the support of Ukrainian volunteers, we simply would not have got to the victims. So we began our work. There were several weekly departures, mostly – in the area of antiterrorost operation, where we met with the victims of the war. First of all, we learned how much the story was true, we tried to find evidence, and only then recorded testimony of a person. It was a very difficult conversation: it is too difficult to talk about the suffering endured. And it must be understood that the described crimes were really monstrous. And the people who committed the crimes continue to do so. They can hardly be called human beings – the pain of others brings them a real pleasure. The so-called interrogation that they staged with the members of the volunteer battalions, volunteers and ordinary people detained on the street, could hardly be called interrogations. Their aim was not to find out, for example, about the placement of the battalion or its number of members and plans. Instead, they asked stupid questions like: “How many children have you eaten? How many brothers do you have? Where do you live?” Or often they asked “What property do you have?” “The fact is that a large number of those crimes was made to rob a person. After all, it was a neighbor of a neighbor, but one of the neighbors was a criminal involved in the activities of the so-called “separatists”. And here we come to a very important issue. The perpetrators were not ordinary bandits. These are people who have very strong ties with the structures of the Russian Federation or even are the Russian officers. This is demonstrated by our report, and we will send this evidence to The Hague. We testify that war crimes in eastern Ukraine were conducted by the Russian Federation itself. Everything that happened there, happens with the consent of Russia and even more so – with its initiative.
– What crimes were recorded?
– The reported crimes mostly consisted of imprisonment. People were kept in inhuman conditions, packed without food and water, and without medical help… Also, of course, it was the beating and torture of various kinds, rape…
– Were the crimes regular?
– Unfortunately, these crimes are widespread…There were the so-called “troika” courts: night trials and death sentences carried out, as evidenced by documents and signatures of individuals. We also have medical documentation of affected individuals. All this we will send to the Hague Tribunal.
– Will the criminals be punished?
– I very much hope that this matter will be given due consideration and the investigation will be initiated. Because our goal is to punish the perpetrators, so they know that such acts cannot remain unpunished. War crimes have no statute of limitations.