'White Book of crimes’: Report on war crimes by pro-Kiev forces in Donbass released in English

A woman cries as she walks past destroyed houses in the town of Debaltseve, north-east from Donetsk, March 13, 2015. © Marko Djurica
A report on war crimes committed by Kiev’s army and militia in eastern Ukraine is now available in English. It’s compiled by Russia’s Investigative Committee and covers 54 criminal cases.

The report, entitled ‘The Tragedy of South-Eastern Ukraine: The White Book of Crimes’, was initially published last year in Russian and edited by Investigative Committee Chairman Aleksandr Bastrykin.

Some 2,500 volumes of evidence collected for the book include testimonies of over 100,000 witnesses.

“The book provides evidence of international and transnational crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine, collected by Russia’s Investigative Committee dealing with the relevant criminal proceedings, as well as records of international organizations on the matter and comments of scholars specializing in international law,” said committee spokesman Vladimir Markin.

Wednesday’s presentation of the book in English was aimed at attracting the attention of the international public to the problem of combating international crimes in Ukraine. Representatives of 14 foreign states, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration were invited to take part.

“The presentation highlighted the discoveries made by the Investigative Committee during its probe into the war crimes and other offences against the peace and security of the people in Ukraine, including the attack on the Russian Embassy in Kiev,” Markin added.

During the presentation, the Committee exposed those involved in the alleged crimes, as well as the sources they based the report on. Among other issues, they raised the question of transferring the collected evidence to the international justice authorities, so that they could decide whether Kiev should be brought to justice.

Markin stressed that the electronic versions of both Russian and English editions of the publication will be available on the official website of the Investigative Committee in the nearest future.

The agency dealing with the war crimes in Donbass was created as part of Russia’s Investigative Committee in 2014. It works closely with all departments that operate in areas where the majority of refugees from the southeast of Ukraine arrive in Russia.

Kiev’s "special operation" in the east of Ukraine aimed at suppressing the protest movement in the Donbass Region has been in progress since the middle of April 2014.

The operation brought about numerous civilian casualties and the general destruction of local infrastructure: according to the UN figures for December 2015, more than 9,000 people died in the conflict and some 20 thousand more were injured. Over 1.3 million lost their homes, as stated in the previous UN report published in August.