A UN report found that Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine, but stopped short of classifying its actions as “genocide”.

The UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine to the Human Rights Council released its comprehensive report on Thursday 16 March.

The report cited incidents of killing, torture and rape of civilians, but the authors said there was no direct evidence that these were motivated by genocidal intent and that the matter warrants further investigation.

“We have not found that there has been a genocide within Ukraine,” says the head of the UN investigation group, Erik Møse. “That said, we are of course following all kinds of evidence in this area, and we have noted that there are certain aspects that may raise questions with respect to that crime (genocide). For example, certain statements in the Russian media that target groups. ”

The panel also said that the illegal transfer of children from Ukraine by Russian authorities constituted “a war crime”.

“The Commission has been investigating the situation of forced transfers and deportations of children within Ukraine and to the Russian Federation,” explained Jasminka Džumhur, UN Commissioner of Inquiry for Ukraine. “The figures provided by the parties vary widely. It identified several situations where such transfers and expulsions took place in incidents reviewed by the Commission.”

The commission also found that the waves of attacks on Ukraine’s energy and water infrastructure by Russia may also constitute crimes against humanity.

The report is the highest international investigation into the war to date.

The Commission’s three members are independent human rights experts and its staff receives support and funding from the Council and the UN Human Rights Office.

Russia did not respond to the inquiry’s requests for information.