UK to send investigators to Ukraine to gather evidence of war crimes, says Liz Truss

Ukrainian officials and the international criminal court are investigating potential war crimes committed by Russian forces since the invasion began on February 24 – although Moscow has denied all claims.

Speaking on Friday, Ms Truss said: “We will also use British intelligence to help show the link between what is happening on the frontline and the Russian authorities, because it is important that everybody in the chain of command is held to account.

“The priority now is collecting the evidence as soon as possible and making that happen and also bringing perpetrators to justice because bringing perpetrators to justice is also about preventing further atrocities taking place in Ukraine, demonstrating to people that if they do commit war crimes, if they do use rape as a weapon of war, they will be held to account.

“We are looking at all possible ways, including how the crime of aggression can be prosecuted.”

Ukraine’s prosecutor general Iryna Venediktova has accused 10 Russian soldiers of atrocities in the town of Bucha.

“During the occupation of Bucha, they took unarmed civilians hostage, killed them with hunger and thirst, kept them on their knees with hands tied and eyes taped, mocked and beat them,” she said.

After Russian forces withdrew from Bucha, Ukrainian troops discovered mass graves and the bodies of dead civilians found in the street.

Chief regional prosecutor in Bucha Ruslan Kravchenko told Human Rights Watch on April 15 that 278 bodies had been found in the town since Russian forces withdrew,

As of April 29, 2,899 civilians have died during the invasion, including 70 children, the UN reports.

Human Rights Watch has also claimed atrocities have been committed in areas of the Chernihiv and Kharkiv.

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