WAR CRIMES: In a joint investigation, Bellingcat, The Insider and “Der Spiegel” identified a group of “dozens of military engineers with training and professional experience in missile programming.”
They may have been complicit in war crimes in Ukraine. A group of young Russian military engineers, women and men, are believed to be responsible for the targeted strikes that have hit Ukraine, including its capital, since mid-October, according to a joint investigation by Bellingcat, The Insider and Der Spiegel, published Monday.The strikes shocked the international community, targeting the capital Kiev for the first time in months, but especially strategic electricity infrastructure and civilian targets, such as children’s playgrounds.
These six months of investigation have identified a “hitherto secret group composed of dozens of military engineers with training and professional experience in missile programming,” Bellingcat notes in his article.
“Most of the members identified by Bellingcat and its partners are young men and women, including a husband-wife couple, and many have a background in computers and even video games,” he says.
The age of these young soldiers is challenging. In their twenties – the four youngest members are only 24 years old – they are possibly complicit in war crimes, notes military historian, conflict observer and president of the Institute Action Résilience, Cédric Mas on Twitter.
Some of them have also reportedly already worked at the Russian military command center in Damascus between 2016 and 2021, during which time Russia deployed cruise missiles in Syria.