British reporter uncovers evidence of alleged war crimes by Russian troops against Ukrainian civilians

Almost since the day the Russian invasion of Ukraine was first launched in late February, there have been numerous reports of alleged atrocities and war crimes committed by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians.

Now it appears that evidence of at least one alleged war crime has been discovered on a section of highway north of Kyiv that was recently liberated from Russian control by Ukrainian forces, the BBC reported.

A British reporter surveyed the scene of a roughly 200-yard stretch of the E-40 highway and found at least 13 dead bodies strewn amongst the debris, rubble, and still-smoldering wreckage of military and civilian vehicles. Only two of those bodies were identifiable as wearing Ukrainian military uniforms while another two of those bodies have been confirmed and identified as civilians.

Evidence suggests fleeing Ukrainian civilians executed by Russians

According to the British reporter, the area had only been cleared about 10 hours earlier by a Russian tank and supporting troops that appeared to have been camped out there with the tank dug in off to the side with a clear line of fire covering the highway.

The two identified civilians were a man and his wife who are believed to have been fired upon by the tank as part of a convoy of civilian vehicles that had aborted an attempt to make it past that roadblock. Both the bodies and the car had been badly burned, with the woman still inside the vehicle and the man lying on the ground next to it.

The reporter noted that a Ukrainian military unit claimed to have drone footage of the incident in which that couple were killed and asserted that the man had been shot dead after exiting the car with his hands up to surrender. The woman had likely been shot and killed while still seated in the car.

According to the drone footage, the couple’s young child and an elderly woman friend had been in the backseat of that vehicle and were taken captive by the Russians but were released a short time later.

It is further believed, and there is some evidence to support it, that the bodies and vehicle had been burned after the incident by the Russian troops in a failed attempt to destroy any evidence that the innocent civilians attempting to surrender had been essentially executed.

War crimes investigation launched, calls for Putin’s arrest

The Guardian reported in early March, little more than a week after the invasion began, that the International Criminal Court had already opened an official investigation into reports of alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine by Russia.

That effort is being led by chief prosecutor Karim Khan, who immediately dispatched an “advanced team” to Ukraine to begin the probe into alleged attacks on civilians and civilian buildings. Khan said at the time that “it is clear … directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects amounts to a war crime.

Now, according to ABC News, the former chief prosecutor of the United Nations’ war crimes tribunals in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, Carla Del Ponte, has bluntly asserted that Russian President Vladimir Putin is a “war criminal” and has called for an international warrant for his arrest.

She recently told a Swiss newspaper that it didn’t matter that Putin was still the elected leader of Russia and said, “You mustn’t let go, continue to investigation. When the investigation into Slobodan Milosevic began, he was still president of Serbia. Who would have thought then that he would one day be judged? Nobody.”

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