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Ukraine War Crimes Register: Travelling Draft


OPENING NOTE


We wish to emphasise that the appearance of an entry on this register does not imply that The PALADINS are of the settled view that a war crime has been committed or that any particular person(s) are guilty of war crimes.


Rather what an entry on this register indicates is that The PALADINS have opened a war crimes investigation. The threshold for such an entry is that (a) it has been brought to our attention or we have found reports of an allegation on our own initiative; (b) facts have been asserted that, if proven, would in our view amount to a war crime; and (c) we have seen credible evidence that the facts asserted may be provable.


In other words, entry on this register is an indication that a war crimes investigation is appropriate and is underway by a member of our team. We are not accusing anyone of specific crimes by virtue of an entry on this register. All persons remain innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in an impartial forum.


These are the principles of rule of law. We respectfully deplore politicians' and others' assertions that war crimes have occurred, before investigation, prosecution, trial and conviction. We aim to bring rigour to an otherwise inchoate process of accusation and counter-accusation.


At the same time, we seek to keep this list complete. If credible assertions of war crimes have been made that in our view merit the opening of an investigation, then we aim to record them here contemporaneously. Hence we aim to make the investigation of Ukraine war crimes allegations a closed set.


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Why investigate and document war crimes in Ukraine? A good explanation is provided by the New York Times, here:


www.nytimes.com/2022/04/06/opinion/war-crimes-ukraine-putin.amp.html


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This webpage is intended as a travelling document, amended every day or so, that will indicate the status of preliminary war crimes investigations undertaken by the Paladins.


We classify war crimes cases into REGULAR; SERIOUS (potentially a large scale intentional killing of dozens or hundreds of people); or TOP SERIOUS (mass slaughter or other enormous wrongdoings on so large a scale as potentially to justify the label of a crime against humanity).


Each entry will be set out as follows:


Case Number: [assigned by administrator]

Date investigation opened: [date]

Location: [Location]

Date and time: [Best possible information]

Nature of crime alleged: [Best possible description, with reference to provisions of Article 8 Rome Statute]

Identities and number of victims: [Best possible information]

Status of victim(s): [Indicate whether they are likely to be alive, injured, dead or recovered]

Identities and number of perpetrators: [Best possible information]

Status of investigation: [Report received / enquiries underway / conclusions reached]

Conclusion (if reached): [Insufficient evidence to proceed / further enquiries needed / reference to prosecuting authorities appropriate; provide date of conclusion]

Appropriate prosecuting authority: [recommendation as to which one is best]

Investigating officer: [code number]

Website: [web address of one or more articles]

Comments: [in particular observations as to whether relevant parties are cooperating with the investigation]


Here is an example, and the first entry logged in this travelling register.


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Case number: 00001

Date opened: 7 April 2022

Location: Bucha, Ukraine

Date and time: Approx 25 March 2022, time unknown

Nature of crime alleged: Use of prohibited weapons (landmines)

Identity, nationality and number of victims: Captain Gennady Bayur, Commander, Russian Armed Forces 234th Guards Air Assault Regiment; Russian nationality; 1 victim

Status of victim: confirmed dead

Identities and numbers of perpetrators: unknown

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: International Criminal Court

Investigating officer: 10351

Web address: www.rferl.org/amp/bucha-war-crimes-military-units/31789259.html

Comments: none


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Case Number: 00002

Date opened: 7 April 2022

Location: main road north of Dmytrivka, seven miles southwest of Bucha with roads to Irpin

Date and time: unknown

Nature of crime alleged: mistreatment of Prisoner of War

Identity, nationality and number of victims: unknown; Russian; 2-4

Status of victims: apparently dead

Identities and number of perpetrators: unknown; Ukrainian; 2+; one may be Georgian

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: International Criminal Court

Investigating Officer: 10351

Web address: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/07/video-appears-to-show-ukrainian-soldiers-shooting-russian-prisoners-of-war

Comments: none


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Case No. 00003

Date opened: 7 April 2022

Location: Bucha

Date and time: 4 March 2022, time unknown

Nature of crime alleged: deliberate targeting of civilian

Identity, nationality and number of victims: unknown; presumed Ukrainian; 1

Status of victim: dead

Identities and number of perpetrators: Russian troops; unknown

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: International Criminal Court

Investigating Officer: 10351

Web address: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas

Comments: waiting for HRW witness statements


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Case No.: 00004

Date opened: 7 April 2022

Location: Staryi Bykiv, Chernihiv oblast

Date and time: 27 February 2022 or later

Nature of crime: deliberate targeting of civilians / mistreatment of PoW's

Identity, nationality and number of victims: unknown; presumed Ukrainian; 6

Status of victims: asserted dead

Identities and numbers of perpetrators: Russian troops; unknown

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: likely International Criminal Court

Investigating Officer:10351

Web address: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas

Comments: none


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Case No.: 00005

Date opened: 8 April 2022

Location: Zabuchchya, northwest of Kyiv

Date and time: 4 March 2022

Nature of crime: torture

Identity, nationality and number of victims: unknown (age 60); Ukrainian; 1

Status of victim: alive

Identity and number of perpetrators: 1 Russian soldier

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: local courts

Investigating officer: 10351

Web address: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas

Comments: threat to execute after finding gun on residential premises. No execution took place. Offence may be in a minor category.


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Case No.: 00006

Date opened: 8 April 2022

Location: Vorzel, 50km NW of Kyiv

Date and time: 6 March 2022

Nature of crime: intentional targeting of civilians

Identity, nationality and number of victims: one woman and one child, Ukrainian, 2

Status of victims: shot dead as they emerged from a basement targeted by a smoke grenade

Identity and number of perpetrators: Russian troops, unknown

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Investigating officer: 10351

Web address: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas

Comments: Query whether perpetrating forces believed basement occupied by Ukrainian Armed Forces and over-reacted. Evidence excluding honest error important to establishing criminal liability.


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Case number: 00007

Date opened: 8 April 2022

Location: Kharkiv region

Date and time: 13 March 2022

Nature of crime alleged: Rape

Identity, nationality and number of victims: Ukrainian, 1

Status of victim: alive

Identities and numbers of perpetrators: Russian soldier, 1

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: local courts

Investigating officer: 10662

Web address: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/04/03/ukraine-apparent-war-crimes-russia-controlled-areas

Comments: none


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Case number: 00008 TOP SERIOUS

Date opened: 8 April 2022

Location: Donetsk oblast

Date and time: February / March 2022

Nature of crime alleged: forcible deportation / genocide

Identity, nationality and number of victims: Ukrainian, 600,000

Status of victims: alive

Identities and number of perpetrators: likely Russian and Ukrainian Armed forces; numbers unknown

Status of investigation: Enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: International Criminal Court

Investigating officer: 10662

Web address: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/apr/08/russia-ukraine-war-latest-news-zelenskiy-says-borodyanka-much-worse-than-bucha-johnson-to-meet-scholz-live

Comments: very complex and detailed investigation into serious allegations likely to involve substantial command responsibility.


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Case number: 00009

Date opened: 8 April 2022

Location: a highway 20km outside Kyiv

Date and time: no later than 3 April 2022

Nature of crime: rape / intentional targeting of civilians / torture

Identity, nationality and number of victims: presumed Ukrainian, 4

Status of victims: dead; bodies mutilated

Identities and numbers of perpetrators: unknown

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: International Criminal Court

Investigating officer: 10662

Web address: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/apr/08/russia-ukraine-war-latest-news-zelenskiy-says-borodyanka-much-worse-than-bucha-johnson-to-meet-scholz-live

Comments: none


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Case number: 00010 SERIOUS

Date opened: 8 April 2022

Location: Kramatorsk Railway Station, Donetsk oblast

Date and time: 8 April 2022; morning

Nature of crime: intentional targeting of civilians

Identity, nationality and number of victims: Ukrainian, presumed 50+ dead, 75+ injured

Status of victims: 50+ dead; reports of injured persons missing limbs

Identities and numbers of perpetrators: unknown. The Tochka-U dual-warhead ballistic missile responsible for the strike is used by both sides in the war

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: International Criminal Court

Investigating Officer: 25662

Web address: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/08/kramatorsk-train-station-ukraine-russia-rockets

Comments: circumstantial evidence suggests that the persons aiming the missile knew or ought to have known that the railway station was being used for exclusively civilian purposes and there was no colourable military or political purpose in attacking it with a surface-to-surface missile at a time when it was likely to be used in substantial quantities by civilians.


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Case number: 00011

Date opened:8 April 2022

Location: a village near Kharkiv

Date and time: approximately 25 March 2022

Nature of crime: mistreatment of PoW's; torture

Identity, nationality, and number of victims: 3 Russian soldiers

Status of victims: presumed dead; bodies burned

Identities and numbers of perpetrators: Unknown Ukrainian soldiers

Status of investigation: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: consider whether any local courts could hear this case fairly

Investigating officer: 25662

Web address: https://www.hrw.org/news/2022/03/31/ukraine-apparent-pow-abuse-would-be-war-crime

Comments: unidentified but compelling social media video


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Case No.: 00012

Date opened: 12 April 2022

Location: a quiet rural neighbourhood 70km west of Kyiv

Date and time: 7 March 2022

Nature of crime: rape; mistreatment of civilians

Identity, nationality and number of victims: Ukrainian; 2

Status of victims: one dead, one alive

Identity and number of perpetrators: Russian soldier, 1

Status of investigations: enquiries underway

Appropriate prosecuting authority: either Russian or Ukrainian courts

Investigating officer: 25662

Web address: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-61071243

Comments: early detailed journalist narrative indicates reliability of evidence


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