Ukraine cannot investigate Russian crimes against humanity, because they are still not listed in the Criminal Code

Oksana Kovalenko, Anhelina Sheremet

Law enforcement agencies of Ukraine do not have the opportunity to investigate crimes against humanity committed by Russia, as they are still not listed in the Criminal Code.

This was reported to “Babel” by the director of the Department of Interaction with the National Police Victoria Mozgova, on the sidelines of the conference "Russiaʼs responsibility for crimes in Ukraine: institutions, procedures and the role of lawyers. The ISS and the International Special Tribunal".

"Unfortunately, Ukraine never thought that such crimes could be committed on its territory. And today this is a problem, because we see how such crimes are committed, but we cannot investigate them," Viktoria Mozgova noted.

Thus, according to her, and in accordance with the Criminal Procedure Code, Ukraine can collect evidence in relation to the facts provided for in the Criminal Code. That is, law enforcement officers record such crimes, but cannot investigate them.

In addition, the Criminal Code does not list war crimes clearly enough, and in order to classify them correctly, the investigator must use various international documents and conventions. However, “it is very difficult for investigators to classify such international crimes."

The Verkhovna Rada (Ukrainian Parliament) previously voted on draft law No. 2689, which included both crimes against humanity and clearly defined war crimes in the Criminal Code, but it did not enter into force. Currently, there is another project of law No. 7290 in the parliament, which introduces the concept of crimes against humanity and prescribes war crimes. The Ministry of Internal Affairs hopes that the project will be voted on and it will come into force.