Germany's federal prosecutor has opened a so-called ''structural investigation'' into suspected war crimes committed by Russian troops since the invasion of Ukraine, the prosecutor's office told CNN on Tuesday.
''The Federal Prosecutor's Office has opened a so-called structural investigation in connection with the international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine," a statement sent to CNN said.
''There are concrete indications that war crimes may have already been committed, in particular war crimes involving the use of prohibited methods of warfare against Ukrainian civilians as well as civilian objects," the statement said.
Some more context: A structural investigation does not target particular suspects, Germany's federal prosecutor in Karlsruhe said, but it aims to gather evidence of the suspected crimes and identify the structures behind them. The evidence can then be used in future criminal proceedings against individual suspects, Germany's federal prosecutor explained to CNN.
In the past Germany has repeatedly prosecuted atrocities committed abroad, including the war crimes in Syria. In January, a German court sentenced a former Syrian army colonel to life in prison, in the first-ever torture trial against President Bashar al-Assad's regime.