True to its commitments, France stands steadfastly by Ukraine in the fight against impunity for the crimes perpetrated by Russia during its aggression in Ukraine. As announced on 12 June 2023, two new missions from the Ministry of the Interior and Overseas France, funded by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre, have been deployed in Ukraine to support Ukrainian investigators.
They were completed on 15 and 25 June 2023.
In response to a request for assistance made by Ukraine, a team made up of gendarmes from the Central Office for Combating Environmental and Public Health Offences (OCLAESP) and an expert from the Gendarmerie Forensic Institute (IRCGN) has been assisting the Ukrainian authorities in investigations into environmental crimes since the beginning of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
In particular, the experts were deployed to the site of the Kalynivka oil depot, which was struck by two Russian missiles on 24 March 2022, causing nearly 5,000 tonnes of oil to spill into the soil and groundwater.
A second team, made up of IRCGN experts on [3D] modelling, the digitization of crime scenes, drones and explosives, was deployed under the aegis of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The French gendarmes provided training on managing and securing complex scenes, for Ukrainian units operating very close to the front line. They also visited the site of a hospital destroyed in the city of Dnipro on 26 May 2023, to back up the Ukrainian investigators in putting into practice the modelling techniques presented during the training.
In addition, an observation and digitization mission to a residential building destroyed on the night of 12 to 13 June 2023 was carried out in order to gather traces and evidence of the damage caused to civilian property. The evidence collected was handed over to the ICC and the Ukrainian courts to support their respective investigations.
Finally, equipment for documenting and securing a complex scene was handed over to the Ukrainian authorities. Five modelling kits, each comprising a computer for creating digital 3D models using aerial images, a 360° camera to create virtual scene visits and a tablet with laser modelling capabilities, were officially handed over to them on 22 June 2023.
France will continue to stand by the Ukrainian authorities and population to lend its support to the essential work of the Ukrainian and international courts in order to fight against impunity for the perpetrators of the crimes Russia has committed in Ukraine.