HRW says it has documented allegations of war crimes committed by Russian forces

The advocacy group said these allegations include rape, summary executions, and unlawful violence between the 27 February and the 14 March this year.

Ukrainian service members collect unexploded shells after a fight with Russian raiding groups. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Human Rights Watch has on Sunday released a statement saying that they have documented allegations of war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine against civilians in the occupied areas of Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Kyiv regions.

The advocacy group said these allegations include rape, summary executions, and unlawful violence between the 27 February and the 14 March this year.

This comes amid allegations that Ukrainian authorities found the bodies of executed civilians and mass graves in areas that have just been liberated from Russian control.

The spokesperson of Ukrainian President - Volodymyr Zelenskyy - said that they found half-burned bodies in Bucha - North West of the capital.

The mayor of Kyiv has also expressed shock at what he called "Cruel war crimes" committed by Russian soldiers in the same town- adding that civilians had been "Shot with tied hands" and called on the whole world and especially Germany to immediately end gas imports from Russia.

The UK has since called for these allegations to be investigated as war crimes.

Germany has on Sunday condemned the killings of civilians in Bucha as a "terrible war crime" and called for fresh EU sanctions against Russia.