OFFICIALS in Ukraine believe they will identify more than 100,000 cases of war crimes by Russian forces — with some of the horrific stories told for the first time today.
Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Iryna Venediktova says her team is already investigating nearly 14,000 cases.
But the true number committed by Vladimir Putin’s troops is expected to top 100,000 based on estimations from what has come to light in the first three months of the bloody conflict, says a source in her office.
Prosecutors there are already building war crimes cases but expect the process to last months owing to the scale of the horrors that are being uncovered already.
It comes as Russia is on the verge of taking Severodonetsk in the east but is also piling more pressure on the country’s second city of Kharkiv with extra attacks.
The Sun on Sunday can reveal details of war crimes which took place in the north-east city when the Russians were last there.
It includes an ongoing criminal case in Kharkiv where three corpses were found burnt in a basement and evidence of arson. Crime scene experts have been brought into the investigation.
The man, woman and child were tortured and shot before being covered in car tyres and set alight.
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 had been sheltering in a school but a Russian military officer broke in and ordered her into a classroom before raping her for five hours, laughing while torturing her. The others managed to escape.
Mrs Venediktova said: “Today we have near 14,000 cases only about war crimes and near 6,000 cases which are connected.
“It means we have huge number of precedents and every day we have more and more. It’s an extra 100, 200, it depends on the day.”
A source in Kharkiv told The Sun on Sunday officials believed the true figure would already be 100,000 based on what they had found so far.
It comes as Ukrainian officials start to uncover the full horror of the early weeks of the invasion when Russian forces came close to the capital Kyiv and had to be driven back from cities such as Bucha and Kharkiv.
The source said: “New horrors are being discovered every day. The scale of the savagery and barbaric behaviour is unheard of.
“The focus is building as much evidence together as possible to make sure the monsters responsible for these evil crimes get justice.
“It looks like there’s going to be 100,000 already and there’s so much more to discover.
“It’s been truly harrowing. Investigators are going through the cities Russia invaded at the start and finding unimaginable horror on a scale not seen before.”
More than 1,000 medical or educational buildings have been destroyed in the conflict.