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A Ukrainian prosecutor announced Wednesday that eight more war crimes cases have been filed in court as Kyiv looks to punish Russian soldiers who “came to rape, kill civilians, loot [and] humiliate.”
The new admissions are part of more than 16,000 investigations that Ukraine has opened into possible war crimes committed during the war, Reuters quoted Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova as saying.
“Every day we see an increase [in investigations],” she said. “We are talking about people who didn’t just come as military combatants… but also came to rape, kill civilians, loot, humiliate and so on.”
Russia continues to deny that its military has committed any war crimes, with Russian U.N. Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia telling the Security Council Tuesday that he “categorically refuted” claims of sexual violence being carried out by the Russian military inside Ukraine, according to Reuters.
Russian military vehicles move on a highway in an area controlled by Russian-backed separatist forces near Mariupol, Ukraine, in late April. (AP/Alexei Alexandrov)
In the first series of Ukraine war crimes trials, two captured Russian soldiers were each been sentenced to 11.5 years in prison in late May after pleading guilty to shelling a town in eastern Ukraine.
Russian army Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, is seen behind a glass during a court hearing in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Wednesday, May 18. He has been sentenced to life in prison for the killing of an unarmed civilian. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A 21-year-old Russian soldier also was handed a life sentence for shooting a 62-year-old man in the head in the early days of the war.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began on Feb. 24 and has now lasted 105 days.