There are reports from recently liberated areas of Ukraine of Russian soldiers using torture chambers against civilians (Photo: Getty)

Russians have killed, tortured and kidnapped Ukrainians in a systematic pattern that could implicate Vladimir Putin’s top officials in war crimes, a US official warned.

US Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack stressed that it was “very hard to imagine” how such crimes could be committed without the entire chain of command being held accountable.

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It comes as Ukrainian prosecutors have identified four locations in Kherson where they suspect enemy soldiers tortured people before leaving the port city.

The Kremlin, in turn, cited videos circulating the internet Friday of suspected Ukrainian soldiers executing prisoners of war.

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“We’re obviously watching this closely,” Ms. Van Schaack told reporters in Washington.

“It is very important to emphasize that martial law applies equally to all parties: both the attacking state and the defending state, and to the same extent.”

In the border town of Kozacha Lopan in the Kharkiv region, police have discovered a prison allegedly used as a torture chamber by Russian soldiers (Photo: Getty)

The Ukrainian secret service claims to have discovered a brutal Russian torture chamber in liberated Kherson.

Another suspected torture chamber in liberated Kherson (Photo: east2we)

Nine months after the large-scale invasion of Ukraine, the devastating human cost is clear.

Thousands of civilians were killed or injured while 13 million Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes.

Mrs. Van Schaack emphasized that there are strong indications that the Russian raids were not accidental.

She said war crimes were committed in all regions where Russian troops were stationed.

“This includes deliberate, indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians and parts of civilian infrastructure,” she added.

A doll is seen among graves that Ukrainian officials say are a mass grave for civilians amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the recently recaptured town of Lyman, Donetsk region, Ukraine Oct. 11, 2022. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

A doll is seen among what Ukrainian officials say is a mass civilian grave in the town of Lyman, Donetsk region (Image: Reuters)

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Natalia Lukyanenko watches as authorities dig a mass grave on the grounds of the Church of St. Andrew and Pyervozvannoho in Bucha (Photo: Anastasia Taylor-Lind)

“We see abuses against civilians and prisoners of war in custody and attempts to cover up these crimes.

“We have reports of civilians killed execution-style with their hands tied.

“We have bodies that show signs of torture. We have horrific stories of gender-based violence, including sexual violence against women and children. ‘

Prosecutors in Ukraine have already identified “thousands of incidents” that could be war crimes, such as in Izium and Bucha.

All this without knowing what is happening in the areas still occupied by the Russian army.

Ms Van Schaack said more evidence will come to light as Ukrainian forces regain control of more territory.

She said: “There are compelling reports detailing physical and psychological abuse, including summary executions, as part of these operations and the forced rendition and deportation, including thousands of Ukrainian children abducted and forcibly adopted by families in Russia.”

“What we see in these images, videos and reports, including testimonials, indicates that these atrocities are not the result of rogue entities or individuals.”

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