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OSCE | Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

Moscow Mechanism experts report to OSCE Permanent Council on Ukraine

OSCE | Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

13 April 2022

The OSCE Moscow Mechanism mission of experts undertaken by Professor Wolfgang Benedek, Professor Veronika Bílková and Professor Marco Sassòli presented their findings to the OSCE Permanent Council on 13 April 2022, collected in the report entitled 'Report On Violations Of International Humanitarian And Human Rights Law, War Crimes And Crimes Against Humanity Committed In Ukraine Since 24 February 2022'.

The three experts were selected after 45 OSCE participating States, following consultation with Ukraine, invoked the OSCE's Moscow Mechanism on 3 March to "address the human rights and humanitarian impacts of the Russian Federation's invasion and acts of war, supported by Belarus, on the people of Ukraine, within Ukraine's internationally recognized borders and territorial waters".

The experts were selected by Ukraine, and the tasks of the mission of experts included:

  • Establish the facts and circumstances surrounding possible contraventions of OSCE commitments, and violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law
  • Establish the facts and circumstances of possible cases of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including due to deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure; and to collect, consolidate, and analyse this information with a view to presenting it to relevant accountability mechanisms, as well as national, regional, or international courts or tribunals that have, or may in future have, jurisdiction

The Mechanism, agreed by all OSCE participating States, allows for one or more participating States to request ODIHR to "inquire of another participating State whether it would agree to invite a mission of experts to address a particular, clearly defined question on its territory relating to the human dimension".

The Permanent Council is one of the OSCE's main decision-making bodies, and convenes each week in Vienna to discuss developments in the OSCE area and make decisions on future activities.

The observations of the mission of experts are available here.

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