The Netherlands will send three more teams of investigators to Russia-invaded Ukraine to document possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. It will support the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The mission will begin towards the end of this year and will continue into next year. Dutch Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra announced this on Twitter.
In May, the Netherlands sent a forensic and investigative team under the ICC flag to Ukraine, and will choose the same method this time, the defense and justice ministries said in a joint statement. The authors of the document wrote that it is “a deployment with a civilian mission: a forensic investigation to gather evidence that can be used to prove war crimes under international law.”
The investigation will be limited to areas under the control of Ukrainian forces to reduce the risk to investigators. There should be no direct contact with Russian occupation soldiers. Doctors are also part of the team in case of injury. The cost of the deployment is covered by the international security budget, the statement said.
The ICC opened an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide in Ukraine just days after the start of the Russian invasion. The investigation covers the period from November 21, 2013, when protests broke out in Ukraine against the then pro-Russian government’s rejection of an agreement with the European Union, to the present day. It can apply to all parties to the conflict in any part of Ukraine. A team of 42 experts went to Ukraine to investigate in May, including the Dutch.
In connection with the possible crimes committed in Ukraine, the mass killings in Buch near Kiev, where, according to Ukraine, Russian forces killed over 400 people, are most often discussed. According to international law experts, these murders could constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity.