Ukraine investigating attacks on grain ports as potential war crimes

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Ukraine’s prosecutor general is investigating Russian attacks on its agriculture infrastructure since July as potential war crimes, the office told Reuters on Thursday.

Shelling on agriculture installations intensified after Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Initiative export deal with Ukraine on July 17.

“Overall, since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Russian forces have conducted more than 100 attacks on Ukraine’s grain and port infrastructure,” the prosecutor general’s office said in a statement.

“Ukraine is investigating these acts as potential war crimes,” it said.

Ukrainian authorities are already reviewing more than 97,000 reports of suspected war crimes and have filed charges against 220 suspects in domestic courts.

Ukraine’s prosecutors, with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, are investigating as potential war crimes a winter campaign of air strikes on national Ukrainian energy and utilities infrastructure as well as the attack on the Nova Kakhovka hydroelectric dam in the southern Kherson region.

Moscow has previously said that energy infrastructure is a legitimate military target.

It has described recent attacks on Ukraine’s grain infrastructure as retaliation for a Ukrainian strike on a bridge across the Kerch Strait to Crimea used to supply its troops in southern Ukraine.

Russian state news agency RIA said on Wednesday said the infrastructure hit in the port of Izmail was housing foreign mercenaries and military hardware. A naval repair yard was also targeted, it said. Reuters was not able to verify the report.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Alex Richardson and Alison Williams)