Russian troops raped and tortured children in Ukraine, U.N. panel says

The findings by the United Nations experts are the latest allegations of war crimes against Russia since its invasion of Ukraine.

A Russian soldier patrols in Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 12 .Alexander Nemenov / AFP via Getty Images file

Russian troops have raped and tortured children in Ukraine, carried out a “large number” of executions and committed other war crimes, according to a United Nations investigation by legal experts.

Set up by the U.N. to probe the conduct of the war, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry reported its chilling findings Friday in Geneva, describing a long list of abuses and atrocities in four regions. “Based on the evidence gathered by the commission, it has concluded that war crimes have been committed in Ukraine,” Erik Mose, the chairman of the three-member commission, told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Mose, a Norwegian judge, said the commission has documented cases in which children have been "raped, tortured and unlawfully confined."

“There are examples of cases where relatives were forced to witness the crimes," he added. "In the cases we have investigated, the age of victims of sexual and gendered-based violence ranged from 4 to 82 years."

Children also have been killed and wounded in “indiscriminate attacks” by Russian forces using explosive weapons, he said.

Mose said that he and his colleagues “were struck by the large number of executions in the areas that we visited.”

The commission is investigating executions in 16 towns and settlements and has “credible allegations regarding many more cases of executions, which we are documenting further,” he said.

The execution cases often featured “the prior detention of the victims as well as visible signs of executions on bodies, such a