Russia has continued to disregard basic principles of humanitarian law and has violated human rights, which has led to increasing civilian suffering since its invasion of Ukraine two years ago, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine said in its report published on Friday.

The report said that the torture of civilians by the Russian authorities was “widespread and systematic”. It also documented incidents of rape and sexual violence committed against women.

On February 24, 2022, Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, triggering the most deadly conflict in Europe since World War II.

The commission was created by the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2022 to investigate the alleged violations of human rights and international law in connection with the invasion. It comprised Norwegian jurist Erik Møse (Chair), Colombian academic and transitional justice expert Pablo de Greiff and human rights lawyer Vrinda Grover.

The report, published on Friday, said that Ukrainian prisoners of war were tortured in several detention facilities in Russia.

“Victims’ accounts disclose relentless, brutal treatment inflicting severe pain and suffering during prolonged detention, with blatant disregard for human dignity,” it said, adding that this had led to “long-lasting physical and mental trauma”.

The report said that it was necessary to continue investigations to determine whether “some of the situations identified may constitute crimes against humanity”.

The commission said that they had compiled the latest report after speaking to more than 800 people during 16 separate visits to Ukraine. It will present the report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva next week.