Irpin, Kyiv Oblast, Ukraine. 1 April 2022. Photo: Oleksandr Ratushniak / UNDP Ukraine


The Hague, April 5, 2022 – Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC) calls for the killings of civilians and the atrocities committed in towns near Kyiv, including Bucha, Irpin, and Hostomel, to be investigated as potential war crimes. CIVIC urges the international community to break the cycle of impunity and hold perpetrators accountable for their crimes in Ukraine.

Images showing dead civilians with their hands tied behind their back and corpses strewn about the streets in Bucha suggest that multiple executions have taken place.

New satellite imagery of mass graves in Bucha, dug as early as March 10, seem to confirm CIVIC’s initial analysis. According to our initial findings, two weeks into the invasion, Russian Armed Forces had shifted their attacks to deliberately target civilians and civilian infrastructure in an effort to break resistance and instill terror.

Numerous accounts of rapes in Russia-controlled areas have also been recorded. CIVIC asks for all acts of sexual violence and abuses to be investigated and their perpetrators to be held accountable.

“The perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable, and each civilian’s killing must be answered for,” said Federico Borello, CIVIC’s Executive Director. “How many more times we will say ‘never again’, only to see such hideous crimes being committed again? Impunity must be eradicated if we want to prevent the next Bucha.”

CIVIC reminds all parties to the conflict to abide by their international obligations. International humanitarian law prohibits, among other things, intentional killing, rape and all forms of sexual violence, torture, and inhumane treatment of civilians.

“Those ordering or overseeing the slaughter of civilians cannot hide behind their soldiers. One doesn’t need to carry a gun and pull the trigger to be found guilty of war crimes,” warns Borello. “Similarly, those who carry out killings cannot hide behind orders they received. All should be prosecuted before a court of law.”


For more information, please contact: 

In The Hague: Hajer Naili, Director of Communications:, +33 6 03 50 53 / +1.917.889.5982 (WhatsApp)

In Washington, D.C.: CIVIC’s Global Media team: