Sat. Aug 13th, 2022

Ned Price, Department Spokesperson

With Ukraine’s assent, the United States and 44 other countries invoked the OSCE Moscow Mechanism for a second time on June 2, establishing an expert mission to examine the further human rights abuses and humanitarian impacts of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. In the report released at today’s OSCE Permanent Council meeting, the mission of experts found “clear patterns of serious violations of international humanitarian law attributable mostly to Russian armed forces.” This is consistent with the findings in the first report, released April 13.

The current report, like its predecessor, also documents evidence of direct targeting of civilians, attacks on medical facilities, rape, torture, executions, looting, and forced transfer of civilians to Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and forced deportations to Russia itself. It further identifies two new “alarming phenomena,” namely the “establishment and use of so-called filtration centers” and the “tendency of the Russian Federation to bypass its international obligations by handing detained people over” to its proxies in eastern Ukraine to let them “engage in problematic practices, including the imposition of the death penalty.”

Taken together, the two reports comprise the most comprehensive accounting of evidence to-date of Russia’s human rights abuses, international humanitarian law violations, including potential war crimes, and other atrocities since President Putin launched his full-scale war against Ukraine on February 24. The United States and our partners will seek to hold accountable those responsible for all human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes, they commit in Ukraine.

Link: OSCE Releases the Second Expert Mission Report on Human Rights Abuses and International Humanitarian Law Violations in Russia’s War Against Ukraine


Moscow Mechanism experts present findings to OSCE Permanent Council on Ukraine

The OSCE Moscow Mechanism mission of experts undertaken by Professor Veronika Bílková, Professor Laura Guercio and Professor Vasilka Sancin presented their findings to the OSCE Permanent Council on 14 July 2022, collected in the report entitled ‘Report on Violations of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Committed in Ukraine (1 April – 25 June 2022)’.

The three experts were selected after 45 OSCE participating States, following consultation with Ukraine, invoked the OSCE’s Moscow Mechanism on 2 June to “consider, follow up and build upon the findings of the Moscow Mechanism report received by OSCE participating States on 12 April” addressing “the human rights and humanitarian impacts of the Russian Federation’s invasion and acts of war, supported by Belarus, on the people of Ukraine, within Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders and territorial waters”.

The Mechanism, agreed by all OSCE participating States, allows for one or more participating States to request that ODIHR “inquire of another participating State whether it would agree to invite a mission of experts to address a particular, clearly defined question on its territory relating to the human dimension”.

The Permanent Council is one of the OSCE’s main decision-making bodies, and convenes each week in Vienna to discuss developments in the OSCE area and make decisions on future activities.

The observations of the mission of experts are available here.