“Ukraine is a crime scene," Karim Khan said in an interview with US broadcaster CNN after inspecting sites of mass murders in the Ukrainian towns of Bucha and Borodyanka this week.
"We’re here because we have reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the ICC are being committed," he added. "We have to pierce the fog of war to get to the truth."
Khan told CNN that the mission of investigating war crimes affected not just Ukraine but the entire world, and that "a common front needs to be built."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address this week that a group of forensic experts from the International Criminal Court, led by Khan, had visited sites including Bucha near Kyiv, where mass graves of murdered civilians were discovered in early April after the withdrawal of Russian troops from northern Ukraine.
The top war crimes prosecutor, Karim Khan (centre), inspects a mass grave site in the Ukrainian town of Bucha near the capital Kyiv on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, amid mounting reports of Russian war crimes. Photo: EPA/OLEG PETRASYUK
"Responsibility for the Russian military for war crimes is inevitable," Zelensky said in a message to the nation.
He added, as quoted by the ukrinform.net website: "We will drag them all to the tribunal. And not only for what was done in Bucha."
Polish President Andrzej Duda said on a visit to Kyiv this week with his Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian counterparts that “those responsible for crimes against the Ukrainian people must be punished by international tribunals.”
He appealed for “sanctions that will exclude Russia” from the international community.
Poland’s upper-house Speaker, Tomasz Grodzki, said on Friday after returning from Kyiv that the Russian devastation of Ukraine and atrocities committed there were "much more terrible" than he and others could have imagined before visiting the war-torn country.
US President Joe Biden has described Russia's actions in Ukraine as amounting to genocide, news outlets have reported.
Source: IAR, PAP, ukrinform.net, CNN, edition.cnn.com, Reuters