Russia’s 59th Tank Regiment dug east of Kharkiv early in the invasion.
They looked out over a valley of villages from the trees that dotted the raised ground.
Ukrainians said that the tanks’ guns were used to attack civilian vehicles and homes.
After the complete destruction of all Russian tanks, and armoured vehicles by Ukrainian forces, there was a reckoning.
Sky News joined Ukrainian- and Lithuanian investigators to examine what remains of their positions in search of evidence of war crimes.
Any deliberate attack on civilians that is not justified by military force is considered a war crime under the law.
After pleading guilty for shooting a unarmed, 62-year old man in the head, Sergeant Vadim Schishimarin was also convicted in Kyiv of a war criminal . Ukraine hopes that he will be the first.
Prosecutors searched for Russian property and crawled over foxholes that had been blown to pieces on the hillside.
They discovered useful documents and other evidence that we had told them.
Artem Zaskalkin, the Ukrainian military prosecutor, stated to Sky News that the Russians had attacked civilian homes in the villages below.
During the occupation, he said that they also attacked vans and lorries trying to transport food and supplies to the villages.
They were asked if they could be punished even though they might have fled to Russia or the East.
He said, “We will try.”
The Ukrainian government is making great efforts to gather evidence of war crimes.
We accompanied the teams as they searched for rubble from Russia’s abandoned vehicles and camps.
It appears that the Russians fled in haste.
Unused tank shell shells and empty explosive cases are filled with uniforms, underwear, and tank commander crew caps.
Ukraine is proving its case against Russians. Online technology and social media are both helping.
The Ukrainians are compiling evidence databases against them by gathering the names of soldiers and units.
If they flee the country, accused Russians may be arrested.
Sky News’s meticulous work on the hills east Kharkiv was crucial to this effort.
As Ukraine continues to accumulate its evidence, more and more places like these are being investigated as war crimes scenes.