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Hundreds of Ukrainians have been detained or went missing in Kherson while the region was under Russian occupation, researchers from Yale University have concluded, TURAN's Washington correspondent reports.

"Russia must halt detentions and disappearances, withdraw its forces from Ukraine, and end a war that it cannot and will not win – no matter how brutal its tactics," Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted in the wake of the report, which was released by the Conflict Observatory, a program supported by the State Department.

The report documents the detentions and disappearances of 226 people in Kherson between March and October, a quarter of whom were allegedly tortured and five of whom died. It comes a week after Moscow began withdrawing troops from the area west of the Dnipro River and the city itself.

The report cited multiple sources who said the Russian security forces had lists of names of targeted individuals and license plate numbers, as well as other information. The researchers also identified 12 locations used for detention and interrogation in Kherson and Crimea.

"The United States is committed to holding those responsible to account, no matter how long that takes," State Department's principal deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel told a daily press briefing.

Asked by TURAN about Washington's efforts to pursue accountability for Russia's war crimes, Patel said there are a number of lines of effort, "and then we are supporting a range of efforts to document and pursue accountability for war crimes and atrocities committed by Russian forces in Ukraine."

He went on to add, "This conflict observatory... provides a platform to independently document, verify, and disseminate open-source information on likely human rights violations and abuses, war crimes, and other atrocities being allegedly committed by Russian forces. This information is meant to be collected and preserved consistent with international standards for use in ongoing and future accountability efforts, including any potential civil and criminal legal processes."

Alex Raufoglu

Washington D.C.

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