The United States announced the establishment of a conflict monitor whose data will be used to build lawsuits against Russia for its "crimes" in Ukraine, while Human Rights Watch spoke of executions and torture by the Russian army there.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said when announcing the establishment of the commission on Tuesday that the Conflict Monitor "will ensure that crimes committed by Russian forces are documented and the perpetrators are held accountable."

"The program will capture, analyze and make available open source information and evidence of atrocities, human rights violations, and damage to civilian infrastructure, including Ukraine's cultural heritage," Price added.

He pointed out that the goal is to contribute to the eventual prosecutions in local courts in Ukraine, US courts and other countries of the world.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch said - in a press release today, Wednesday - that Russian forces - which controlled most of the regions of Kyiv and Chernihiv in north-eastern Ukraine from late February to March 2022 - subjected civilians to torture and executions without trial, and unlawfully. These are grave violations that appear to be war crimes.

In those areas, the organization investigated 22 apparently extrajudicial executions, 9 other unlawful killings, 6 possible enforced disappearances, 7 cases of torture, and 21 civilians reported unlawful confinement in inhuman and degrading conditions.

"The many atrocities committed by Russian forces who occupied parts of northeastern Ukraine early in the war are horrific, cruel, and illegal," said Giorgi Gugia, associate director of Europe and Central Asia at Human Rights Watch.

"These violations against civilians are clear war crimes that should be investigated promptly and impartially, and their perpetrators appropriately prosecuted," he added.