The allegations against Putin’s forces have been mounting, fuelled by testimony from the reclaimed town of Bucha, north of Kyiv. On Thursday, April 28, Ukraine filed its first criminal charges against Russian soldiers allegedly involved in mass killings in the town.
Ukrainian authorities have said they are investigating at least 7,600 possible war crimes, and more than 500 Russian suspects.
Britain’s investigative unit will arrive in Poland in the next few weeks, the Foreign Office said, adding: “The specialist team will assist the Ukrainian government as they gather evidence and prosecute war crimes and will include experts in conflict-related sexual violence.”
The Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, has also travelled to The Hague to meet with the President of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Dutch Foreign Minister, Wopke Hoekstra.
Ms Truss said that “Russia has brought barbarity to Ukraine and committed vile atrocities, including against women”.
She added: “British expertise will help uncover the truth and hold Putin’s regime to account for its actions.”
Ms Truss, as the revelations of Bucha hit the press, called the alleged war crimes “indiscriminate attacks against innocent civilians”, committing the UK’s full support to ICC investigations.
She added: “The UK-led effort to expedite and support an International Criminal Court investigation into crimes in Ukraine was the largest State referral in its history.”
The Netherlands, which is reopening its embassy in Kyiv on Friday, will send a cohort of military police to gather evidence in Ukraine to assist with the official ICC inquiry.
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“We are the citizens of Ukraine. We have more than 100 nationalities.
“This is about the destruction and extermination of all these nationalities.”
He added: “The world has seen many war crimes. The time has come to make the war crimes committed by Russian troops the last such evil on Earth.”
US President Joe Biden was categorical in his calls for Vladimir Putin to be investigated for war crimes, after he was one of the first Western leaders to label the Russian despot as a war criminal.
He said in early April: “You may remember I got criticised for calling Putin a war criminal.
“Well, the truth of the matter – we saw it happen in Bucha – he is a war criminal.”
He then continued: “But we have to gather the information.
“We have to continue to provide Ukraine with the weapons they need to continue to fight, and we have to get all the detail [to] have a war crimes trial.
“This guy is brutal and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous.”