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International: First war crimes trial to be held in Ukraine

2:00pm on 12 May 2022 

By Natalie Sheers, adapted by Jack Horsnell 

Ukrainian prosecutors are ready to launch their first war crimes trials on Russian soldiers.

Three Russian prisoners of war have been accused of murdering and sexually assaulting civilians. 

More than 10,700 crimes have been registered since the beginning of the war by the office of Ukraine's prosecutor general led by Iryna Venediktova.

Volodymyr Yavorskyy from the Center of Civil Liberties says that the Ukrainian Human Rights group will be closely following the trial to ensure it is fair.

"It's very difficult to observe all the rules, norms and neutrality of the court proceedings in wartime," he said. 

One of the men, Mikhail Romanov, is being accused of murdering a man and repeatedly sexually assaulting his wife while threatening her and her young child. His whereabouts are yet to be determined.

Romanov's case will be the final case in the trial and is likely to take place in absentia.

​Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air.