the jury is in
The United Nations-partnered security body known as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe determined Russia broke international humanitarian law and committed war crimes by deliberately targeting civilians — particularly in the decimated city of Mariupol — during its invasion of Ukraine, The Washington Post writes per an OSCE report published Wednesday.
"Taken as a whole, the report documents the catalogue of inhumanity perpetrated by Russia's forces in Ukraine," Michael Carpenter, U.S. ambassador to the OSCE, said Wednesday. "This includes evidence of direct targeting of civilians, attacks on medical facilities, rape, executions, looting, and forced deportation of civilians to Russia."
The report determined the strike on a maternity hospital in Mariupol was a deliberate Russian attack, and dismissed Russian claims that the hospital was being used by Ukrainian troops for military purposes. Because there was no warning or time limit given to civilians, "this attack therefore constitutes a clear violation of International Humanitarian Law and those responsible for it have committed a war crime," the report concludes.
The OSCE also determined the attack on the civilian shelter at the Mariupol Drama Theater to "most likely" be an egregious violation of international humanitarian law" and a "war crime."
The 57-member group — of which the U.S., Ukraine, and Russia are a part — began investigating last month following a vote on the matter. Russia was one of the dozen countries that did not vote for the investigation, per the Post.
Overall, the OSCE's review found "clear patterns of international humanitarian law violations" by Russian forces, though "more detailed investigations are necessary, in particular with regard to establish[ing] individual criminal responsibility for war crimes."