Explainer: How are war crimes in Ukraine being investigated?

THE HAGUE (HRNW) – The International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday is just one strand in a complex web of international and national legal moves over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

More than 74,500 such atrocities have been reported in Ukraine since Russia invaded, according to the prosecutor general’s office in Kyiv. Bringing those to trial is no simple task.

Ukrainian and Western authorities say there is evidence of murders and executions, shelling of civilian infrastructure, forced deportations, child abductions, torture, sexual violence and illegal detention.

But Russia has repeatedly denied that its forces have committed atrocities or attacked civilians. A successful war crimes prosecution requires a high standard of proof, in a situation where access to suspects and crime scenes is often restricted and there is overlapping jurisdiction between national and international courts.