Prosecuting War Crimes in Ukraine

When Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the Ministry of the Interior and Justice formed a new division to investigations cases of possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. By early June, the Prosecutor’s office had documented more than 14,000 alleged Russian war crimes, identified more than 600 suspects and initiated proceedings against approximately 80 of them.

It’s the first time investigations into war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide have been carried out during the actual conflict. The priority: to quickly determine who did what, where, when and on the orders of which superior. It is also a way of countering Russian propaganda: collecting the immediate evidence will ensure that war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine are not, as in Grozny and Syria, forgotten by history. 

We follow the prosecutors, forensic investigators and cyber police through the course of three specific investigations. The rape of two women in Berestyanka by two Russian soldiers. The attack by 10 cluster bombs in Kharkiv which caused the death of 10 people, including an eight month-old baby and wounded 37 others. And launching 240 missiles and occupying the village of Kozacha Lopan near Kharkiv. Two Russian soldiers stand accused of launching 80 of the missiles.

Through these three investigations, we show how the war crimes units prepare solid cases, both for the Ukrainian justice system and for the international criminal court. How these teams collect evidence and find witnesses. How they establish who was responsible and how they try to deliver justice.


  • Year: 2023
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Babel Doc
  • Director: Elizabeth Drévillon
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France


  • Festival du Documentaire sur la Justice 2023 (France), Audience Award for the category films +40 min at FIGRA 2024 (France)

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