28 June 2023 :
A United Nations monitoring mission in Ukraine says Russia has detained more than 800 civilians since the conflict began and has executed 77 of them.
The 36-page report based on 70 visits to detention centres and more than 1000 interviews showed Ukraine had also violated international law by arbitrarily detaining civilians but on a considerably smaller scale.
“We documented over 900 cases of arbitrary detention of civilians, including children, and elderly people,” Matilda Bogner, head of the UN rights monitoring mission in Ukraine told a press conference by video link from Uzhhorod, Ukraine, on June 27.
“The vast majority of these cases were perpetrated by the Russian Federation.”
Some 72 of those killed were men and five were women.
The executions by Russia amounted to a war crime, Ms Bogner added.
The mission did not document any summary executions of civilian detainees by Ukrainian forces.
Of the 864 civilians held by Russia, the UN human rights office was able to document 178 cases in detail, it said.
Of those, more than 90 per cent were tortured, the report said, citing incidents of waterboarding, electrocution and the use of a “hot box” where detainees are held in solitary confinement in a box in high temperatures.
The detentions took place in both Ukraine and Russia, it said.
The UN documented 75 cases of detention of civilians by Ukrainian forces, saying changes to Ukraine’s criminal codes had given Kyiv greater discretion to carry out such practices.
It said more than half of them had also been subjected to torture or ill-treatment.
Ukraine gave UN investigators full access with the exception of one incident, the report said, while Russia did not provide any access to detainees despite repeated requests.