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UN Official Says Evidence Of War Crimes Against Children In Ukraine.

Jasminka Dzumhur (left) stands next to fellow commissioner Erik Mose and Pablo de Greiff. (file photo)

Jasminka Dzumhur (left) stands next to fellow commissioner Erik Mose and Pablo de Greiff. (file photo)

SARAJEVO -- One of the independent members of the recently established UN Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine says investigators have found evidence of war crimes, including sexual abuse of children, during Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, with the "vast majority" of offenses having been committed by Russian troops.

Speaking in an interview with RFE/RL's Balkan Service on January 23, Jasminka Dzumhur, one of three members of the commission and Bosnia-Herzegovina's human rights ombudswoman with more than three decades of experience in the fields of the judiciary, human rights, and international relations, said there was a "very wide" range of crimes that have been uncovered in Ukraine.

"When we talk about children, they were wounded or killed by firearms. They were sexually abused. We recorded violations of the rights of children placed in homes for neglected children," Dzumhur said, adding that the commission had also received information about children being moved from Ukraine to Russia even though "in many cases" their biological parents still reside in Ukraine.

The European Union and human rights groups have accused Russia of human rights violations on the territory of Ukraine, including torture, abuse, rape, and other forms of violence as well as attacks on civilian and energy infrastructure since the Kremlin launched its unprovoked invasion in February 2022.

Moscow has vehemently denied the allegations, despite mounting evidence, and has called on international bodies to investigate crimes it says have been committed against Russian prisoners of war in Ukraine.

Kyiv has said it will punish abuses committed by its own forces but believes the number of such incidents is small.

Dzumhur said the commission had found evidence that "war crimes, violations of human rights and international humanitarian law were committed on the territory of Ukraine, but that Russian armed forces were responsible for the vast majority of identified violations."

WATCH: A Russian soldier says he is ready to testify about Russian war crimes in Ukraine.

The United Nations set up the commission comprised of three experts in March 2022. It is headed by Norway's Erik Mose, the former president of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and a former judge on Norway's Supreme Court. The third member is Colombian Paolo de Greiff, an expert on international justice issues.

Dzumhur said the commission will submit its report in March, when its mandate ends, and that all of the information presented in it will be "the direct result of the commission's work in the field, with confirmations from other sources."

However, she noted that the commission, which originally focused on four regions of Ukraine, had not been able to access certain parts of the country.

"We often have no or limited access to certain territories, specifically when we talk about Donetsk and Luhansk. The commission did not have the opportunity to visit and talk to people who live there."

She also said that the commission had been collecting information from other countries as well.

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