OFFICIALS in Ukraine believe they will identify more than 100,000 cases of war crimes committed by Russian forces – with some of the horrific stories told for the first time today.
Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Iryna Venediktova said her team is already investigating about 14,000 cases.
But the actual number committed by Vladimir Putin’s troops is expected to reach 100,000 based on estimates of what came to light in the first three months of the bloody conflict, a source in his office said.
Prosecutors are already building war crimes cases, but expect the process to take months due to the scale of the horrors that are already being uncovered.
This comes as Russia is about to take Severodonetsk in the east, but is also putting more pressure on the country’s second city, Kharkiv, with extra attacks.
The Sun on Sunday may reveal details of war crimes that took place in the northeastern city when the Russians were last there.
It includes an ongoing criminal case in Kharkiv where three dead bodies were found burned in a basement and evidence of arson. Crime scene experts were called in for the investigation.
The man, woman and child were tortured and shot before being covered in car tires and set on fire.
The country’s security service is also investigating the rape of a woman in the village of Little Rogan as a war crime.
She and her family were sheltering at a school, but a Russian military officer broke in and ordered her into a classroom before raping her for five hours, laughing as he tortured her. The others managed to escape.
Ms. Venediktova said: “Today we have about 14,000 cases just about war crimes and about 6,000 related cases.
“That means we have a huge number of precedents and every day we have more and more. There are 100, 200 extras, depending on the day.”
A source in Kharkiv told The Sun on Sunday that officials believed the true number would already be 100,000 based on what they have discovered so far.
This comes as Ukrainian authorities begin to discover the full horror of the first weeks of the invasion, when Russian forces arrived close to the capital Kyiv and had to be driven out of cities such as Bucha and Kharkiv.
The source said: “New horrors are being discovered every day. The scale of savagery and barbaric behavior is unprecedented.
“The focus is to build as much evidence as possible to ensure the monsters responsible for these evil crimes receive justice.
“It looks like there will be 100,000 already and there is so much more to discover.
“It’s been really harrowing. Investigators are passing through the cities Russia invaded early on and encountering unimaginable horror on a scale never seen before.”
More than 1,000 medical or educational buildings were destroyed in the conflict.