Ukraine prosecutor opens investigation into Russian air strikes

THE HAGUE: Ukraine’s top prosecutor on Thursday said his office had opened criminal proceedings related to the Russian missile attacks that took place Kyiv and cities all over Ukraine this week.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan In The Hague, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin described the strikes since Monday as “a classic act of terrorism” by Russia.
He said more than 112 Russian missile strikes, Moscow’s biggest air attack since the start of the invasion on February 24, left 17 people dead and 93 injured.
“Every attack of every missile, every drone, every damage to civilian infrastructure, every (…) Ukrainian killed or injured by missile attacks. This is all recorded and criminal proceedings are registered and open,” he said.
Russia has repeatedly denied deliberately attacking civilians in Ukraine. Moscow also denies violating international law and denies Kyiv’s accusations that Russian soldiers have committed war crimes.
Kostin said that in the newly liberated Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine, prosecutors found at least 11 burial sites including a mass grave near the town of Izium, and 457 bodies were unearthed. across these regions.
Two other mass graves were found in the Lyman area with about 154 people, Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, buried there, he added.
The prosecutor’s office has 28 investigative teams on duty in the newly liberated areas, where Kostin said the retreating Russian troops left evidence of the detention, torture of civilians and illegal deportations. .
ICC Prosecutor Khan praised his Ukrainian counterpart and his own ICC investigation team on the ground for continuing to do their job “as the missiles fell” this week.
Khan, who opened an ICC investigation in March, would not be withdrawn when asked when his office expected to file the first case, saying he would only proceed “when there is enough evidence”.
Khan and Kostin spoke after a meeting with the European prosecutorial organization Eurojust, which has set up a joint investigation into war crimes in Ukraine involving Ukraine, the ICC and six European Union Nation.


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