Zelensky says “Book of Torturers” will hold alleged war criminals accountable

Mariya Knight

A “Book of Torturers” documenting “war criminals and criminals from the Russian army” will be launched in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his nightly address on Tuesday.

“These are specific facts about specific people who are guilty of specific violent crimes against Ukrainians,” he said.

“And such a ‘Book of Torturers’ is one of the foundations of the responsibility of not only the direct perpetrators of war crimes — soldiers of the occupying army, but also their commanders. Those who gave orders. Those who made possible everything they did in Ukraine. In Bucha, in Mariupol, in all our cities, in all the communities they have reached.”

The creation of this system has been underway for some time, Zelensky added.

Some context: Last month, a 21-year-old Russian soldier was sentenced to life in prison for killing an unarmed man in Ukraine’s first war crimes trial since Russia’s invasion began.

The trial came amid mounting evidence of alleged Russian war crimes as Ukrainians reclaimed areas previously occupied by invading troops.

In April, Ukraine’s prosecutor general said her office was investigating nearly 6,000 cases of alleged Russian war crimes, with “more and more” proceedings opening every day.

Russia has denied allegations of war crimes and claims its forces do not target civilians. But CNN journalists on the ground in Ukraine have seen firsthand evidence of atrocities at multiple locations across the country.

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