The US ambassador to the OSCE has documented a series of war crimes committed by troops loyal to the Kremlin as it struggles to find new strategies to fight Ukrainian resistance.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is almost entirely aware of the torture, rape, forced displacement and other war crimes that the United States and others claim his forces have committed against civilians in Ukraine and will be held accountable in Europe. A top American diplomat. Juma said.
“We want to signal that no one will be exempt from the law,” Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told reporters from his headquarters in Brussels on Friday morning. “Everyone will be held accountable”
Carpenter spoke a day after detailing the findings of a report to the OSCE that studied Russian military operations in several Ukrainian cities from April to late June. Focusing on the cities of Bucha, Arpan, and Mariupol, among others, he found serious indications of systematic torture and rape by Russian units, which Putin later praised for their battlefield bravery.
One example documents a makeshift torture chamber discovered in a former summer camp in Bucha containing evidence of equipment used for waterboarding. The bodies of five people, dressed in civilian clothes, were found with burns, bruises and other injuries. The report also documented that in Bocha, Russian soldiers held 25 girls aged 14-24 in a basement and gang-raped them.
When asked if these incidents were the result of orders from the Russian chain of command, possibly up to the Kremlin and Putin himself — rather than an isolated instance of a lack of proper military oversight — Carpenter said, “One can assume that “The majority of the Russian leadership must know what’s going on.”
He noted Putin’s decision after news of battlefield atrocities emerged to award the honorary title of “Guards” to units in the Ukraine campaign for their bravery and battlefield distinction in Bucha.
“It’s hard to see when this was done in April that the Russian leadership would be unaware of the allegations against these units in Bocha,” Carpenter said.
Russia has denied the reports, and on Thursday a Moscow court jailed a Russian opposition figure for some of Boucha’s comments under tough new laws banning criticism of its “special military operation” in Ukraine. Helped spread the reports.