ICC’s Office of Prosecutor records more than 1,200 alleged crimes in Donbas

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ICC’s Office of Prosecutor records more than 1,200 alleged crimes in Donbas

This is stated in the annual Report on Preliminary Examination Activities, issued by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda.

"The Office has recorded more than 1,200 incidents involving crimes allegedly committed since 20 February 2014 in the context of events in eastern Ukraine," the document says.

The Office of the Prosecutor reports that some 10,225 people have been killed and 24,541 injured since the start of the conflict. In particular, at least 2,505 civilians were allegedly killed in armed hostilities between April 2014 and August 2017.

In addition, official statistics suggest that more than 15,000 persons have been reported as “missing” in the conflict zone since April 2014. Torture or ill-treatment was reportedly perpetrated in the context of the conflict, involving several hundred alleged victims.

For the purpose of determining whether the otherwise non-international armed conflict involving Ukrainian armed forces and anti-government armed groups could be actually international in character, the Office continues to examine allegations that the Russian Federation has exercised overall control over armed groups in eastern Ukraine.

The report says that the fact of existence of “a single international armed conflict in eastern Ukraine” would entail the application of articles of the Statute relevant to armed conflict of an international character for the relevant period.

As noted, the Office will continue its detailed analysis of the alleged crimes, under the strict guidance of the Rome Statute and with a view to reaching conclusions on jurisdictional issues within a reasonable time frame.

In its report for 2016, the ICC Prosecutor's Office indicated that the situation in the annexed Crimea was equivalent to an international armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia.

On September 8, 2015, Ukraine accepted ICC jurisdiction over the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed by Russia's senior officials and leaders of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic” which led to especially grave consequences and the mass murder of Ukrainian citizens.

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