Prosecutor General's Office reports over 107,000 Russian crimes during full-scale war
Yuriy Belousov, the head of the department for combating crimes in armed conflict conditions at the Prosecutor General's Office, has explained how Ukraine is holding Russia accountable for these crimes
He said this in an interview with RBC-Ukraine.
As of today, there have been 107,863 recorded war crimes since the invasion on February 24, 2022.
"We have identified 446 suspected individuals – these are not just people we believe are involved, but those against whom we have gathered evidence and officially filed charges. Out of these 446 individuals, 267 have already had charges brought against them and are being processed in court. Of those in court, 63 have been convicted, officially designating them as war criminals. Among these 63, 15 have been sentenced in person, while the rest have been sentenced in absentia," the prosecutor explained.
Belousov pointed out that the Prosecutor General's Office possesses evidence related to the top military leadership of the Russian Federation.
"We have conducted a comprehensive investigation, identifying 680 suspects, including Russian senators, State Duma deputies, heads of federal assembly chambers, high-ranking political and military leaders, as well as various public figures and propagandists. These individuals, due to their influence on the situation in the Russian Federation, either facilitated or endorsed the invasion,” he said and added that to date, 401 of them have been formally charged, and 96 have been convicted.
The convicted individuals in this context are primarily State Duma deputies who have been sentenced in absentia.
"This follows a distinct legal process. An investigation is initiated, and at a certain point, authorization is obtained for a special pre-trial investigation in absentia. The state appoints a lawyer to represent the suspect's interests, even though the suspect may not be in Ukraine. This attorney is provided with all investigation materials and participates in court proceedings. If the suspect wishes to appoint their own lawyer, the law allows them that right. Subsequently, a sentence is delivered in the suspect's absence," Belousov concluded.
In Ukraine, this means the person is considered convicted, and if they enter the country, they will serve their sentence, regardless of when that occurs.