Russian NGOs condemn Moscow's role in war crimes in Syria

After a bombardment in the village of Hamouria, in Eastern Ghouta, in the province of Damascus, on January 6, 2018. REUTERS / Bassam Khabieh

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For the first time since the start of the war in Syria, Russian NGOs are looking into the victims of military operations, especially Russian ones.

It is a taboo subject in the media close to power.

By publishing their report, several human rights groups hope to raise awareness.


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The 200-page report cites more than 150 witnesses to the events in Syria interviewed in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Germany or Russia.

The document accuses Moscow of abuse by



civilians or supporting a regime accused of numerous atrocities, such as the use of

chemical weapons.

This war means hundreds of thousands of deaths, people who have suffered atrocious torture, hundreds of


, markets, schools bombed,"

underlines Ekaterina Sokirianskaya, member of the NGO Memorial.

But unfortunately, in the last ten years our society has missed all these topics. 


The official Kremlin speech presents the Russian army as being engaged in a just fight to save the legitimate power of President Bashar al-Assad from "terrorists".

But we cannot afford everything in the name of the fight against terrorism, said Oleg Orlov, another member of Memorial.

 The fight against terrorism does not justify the crimes that are committed during anti


terrorist operations,

” he said.

War must be waged within the framework of international humanitarian law and, more generally, of international law.


The authors of the report have no illusions about the scope of their investigation in Russia.

Memorial, like several other NGOs which took part in it, are classified as “foreign agents” by the Russian courts.   


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  • NGO

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