“We demand that the Russian Regime ceases its activities, seen as war crimes, immediately. [Russia] must be, and will be, held accountable for its actions.”
By: Roy Thorvaldsen, Lt. Col (R), Norwegian Army/ CIOR Public Affairs
A further condemnation of Russia’s warfare in Ukraine, and the involvement of Belarus, came out of the organisation’s spring meeting in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, yesterday. It was, in part, a reaction to shock and disbelief over atrocities committed towards the civilian population in Bucha and other occupied towns over the last few weeks.
The CIOR President had earlier condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine, on behalf of the Presidency.
Several hundred people have been found killed as Ukrainian forces have retaken suburbs north of and around Kyiv – some with their hands tied behind their backs and with execution-style gun wounds to their heads. Others were shot off their bikes on the way to the market, or gunned down in their front yard.
The tortured body of a mayor and her family were found buried in the forest, allegedly for being “informants” to the Ukrainian armed forces.
There are many more stories, and the full scale of the horror is yet to be discovered.
Russia has denied involvement in the killings, but forensic experts are currently on the ground collecting evidence and testimonies. Satellite imagery appears to show that many of the dead bodies were lying on the streets for several weeks, from when the area was under control by Russian forces.
An official statement, named the Wilhelmshaven Declaration, was approved by Council, CIOR’s highest decision-making body, and signed by the President and Secretary General of CIOR at the end of the meeting.
“We, as CIOR, stand together in solidarity. Our reservists are ready to bear our duty to protect our homelands and the democracies, freedoms, and human rights of the people”, the declaration reads.
In English and French
The declaration, that you can read in its entirety in English here, and in French here, was unanimously agreed to by all CIOR’s Vice Presidents – the heads of all national delegations – present at the meeting, and signed by the President and Secretary General in an official ceremony on the 5th of April. The declaration will now be published in all CIOR’s more than 30 member associations’ nations.