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OSCE prepares report on investigation into detention of Ukrainian civilians by Russia

OSCE prepares report on investigation into detention of Ukrainian civilians by Russia Photo: Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba (Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)
Author: Daryna Vialko

Experts from the Moscow Mechanism of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) have prepared a report on the investigation into the detention of Ukrainian civilians by Russia, reported Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba.

Kuleba thanked the OSCE, all civic activists, non-governmental organizations, governments, and international organizations that contributed to the publicity around this issue.

"I welcome the OSCE Moscow Mechanism Report on Russia's arbitrary detention of Ukrainian civilians. This important document rings an alarm bell about Russia's systematic and widespread campaign of taking civilian hostages in Ukraine’s occupied territories," Kuleba noted.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs noted that the Mission's findings emphasize the massive nature of Russian war crimes against Ukrainian civilians.

"The findings of the independent Mission are shocking: individuals involved in the arbitrary deprivation of liberty of Ukrainian civilians committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Report emphasizes that this practice has occurred on a massive scale and that there is evidence of Russia’s systematic, consistent, and deliberate pattern of conduct targeting Ukrainian civilians," added Kuleba.

The report also notes that Russia's detentions of Ukrainian civilians began in the temporarily occupied Crimea in 2014 and continued after the aggressor country's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

"The document will become an important element in the work of national and international judicial bodies aimed at identifying specific individuals who should be held criminally responsible," emphasized the Minister.

The Minister also called on the partners to consolidate efforts for the immediate and unconditional release of all Ukrainian civilians arbitrarily detained by Russia, as outlined in the Ukrainian peace formula.

The Moscow Mechanism and its role in Russia's war against Ukraine

The OSCE's Moscow Mechanism allows participating States to send expert missions to assist in addressing a specific issue or problem related to the OSCE's human dimension.

With regard to Russia, the Moscow Mechanism was activated by the OSCE on March 30, 2023. Forty-five member states of the Organization initiated the use of the mechanism to investigate the deportation of children from the territories of Ukraine occupied by the Russian Federation.

At the end of February 2024, it became known that OSCE member states had initiated the use of the so-called Moscow Mechanism to investigate the detention of Ukrainian civilians by Russia.