Photo 20:32 22 Oct 2023

Ukrainian police officers finish training in the Hague for war crimes investigations

Photo: National Police

To improve their skills in probing crimes committed in the context of an armed conflict, investigators of the Ukrainian National Police underwent comprehensive training in the Hague.

What is the problem?

"The investigators of the National Police have initiated more than 97,000 criminal proceedings based on the facts of war crimes committed by the Russian military, and they are appalled by the brutality with which the Russians treated the civilian population," said the Chair of the Department of Investigations of Crimes Committed during Armed Conflict at the National Police, Khrystyna Podyriako.

She cited mass shootings, deportations, bullying, rape, deliberate looting, and theft of private property and valuables among war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine.

"During these almost 20 terrible months, we have acquired unique skills for the police using the latest technologies and capabilities. International experience will help us revise approaches to organizing pre-trial investigations of such crimes so that their results are considered by national and international judicial bodies. And so that no war criminal escapes legal and fair punishment anywhere in the world," said Podyriako.

What is the solution?

Investigators of the National Police underwent comprehensive training in the Hague to improve their skills in investigating crimes committed in the context of armed conflict.

"The training was organized with the assistance of the Consultative Mission of the European Union in Ukraine for the heads of investigative police bodies, which are directly related to the organization of the investigation of crimes committed in the context of the armed conflict," the statement said.

Photo: National Police

How does it work?

The National Police reported that during the five days in the Netherlands, investigators improved their qualifications in the following areas:

  • investigation of war and international crimes committed by members of the armed forces;
  • stimulation of national investigations and prosecutions for international crimes;
  • the rights of armed conflicts and occupation;
  • international human rights and international responsibility;
  • functioning of the database of major international crimes;
  • cooperation with Eurojust.

Photo: National Police

Police officers also improved their skills in documenting and investigating war crimes, which are a priority for Ukrainian law enforcement officers during Russia's large-scale war against Ukraine.

The National Police stressed that they had created effectively functioning bodies and tools to document and investigate Russian war crimes at the beginning of the full-scale war.

Two specialized departments operate in the central apparatus and nine front-line regions. The interdepartmental "War Crime" database stores information on more than 236,000 people; police officers exchange data with law enforcement agencies, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Europol, and other international partners who help investigate these crimes.

Other OSINT tools, such as verifying war criminals on social media and recognizing their faces using a network of more than 30 billion images obtained from open sources, are used to collect evidence. Satellite images are obtained and analyzed, and voice recognition technology and voice signature comparison are used.

Twenty ANDE DNA laboratories for the rapid selection of biological samples directly at the sites of rocket strikes after fires and in mass graves, where often only body fragments are found. Thanks to modern equipment, National Police forensic experts do it in just one and a half hours, often with almost 100% efficiency.

Photo: National Police


The National Police opened a headquarters for documenting Russian war crimes in war-torn Hostomel, Kyiv region.

Investigators cooperate with the international human rights group Global Rights Compliance to record and document war crimes. Their joint conclusions and collected evidence will be used in the trials of Russian war criminals, including international ones.

The National Police said that most war crimes were revealed thanks to the testimony of citizens and asked for help establishing justice and punishing the guilty.

As Rubryka reported, the International Criminal Court opened its office in Kyiv on the morning of September 14. The work of the newly established Field Office of the International Criminal Court will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of responding to Russian war crimes. The main focus of the ICC office in Kyiv will be investigating cases pending before the Court since the beginning of the Russian armed aggression against Ukraine.

The first in a whole series of verdicts that will recognize the violation of international law by the Russian Federation may be the decision in the case "Ukraine v. Russia" at the International Court of Justice of the United Nations.

The International Criminal Court began investigating the Russian destruction of the Kakhovka dam. ICC representatives visited the Kherson region.

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: