The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on Wednesday will publish the findings of its investigation into human rights abuses and atrocities committed in the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, according to the spokesperson for the US Mission to the OSCE.
It is unclear what the findings of the report will be at this point.
The report is the product of a weeks-long fact-finding mission led by three experts chosen by Ukraine from an OSCE list of experts. That investigation was triggered after 45 countries invoked a rare OSCE mechanism —the Moscow Mechanism — that is used to investigate human rights concerns
The report was shared with OSCE members on Tuesday and with Ukraine last week, the spokesperson said.
Michael Carpenter, US ambassador to the OSCE, will brief the press following a special Permanent Council meeting on Wednesday.
According to the OSCE, the aim of the expert mission was to “establish the facts and circumstances surrounding possible contraventions of OSCE commitments, and violations and abuses of international human rights law and international humanitarian law” and “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 analyze 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.”
More context: The OSCE does not have the authority to legally punish Russia if it finds evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but their facts can be given to other bodies that do have that authority.
The Moscow Mechanism, which was used to launch the fact-finding mission, is a serious step, and according to the OSCE, it has been triggered only nine other times since its establishment in 1991. It was most recently used in 2020 to investigate human rights abuses in Belarus.
Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are all members of the OSCE.