Today [March 25, 2022], The Associated Press and the PBS investigative documentary series FRONTLINE announced the launch of War Crimes Watch Ukraine, a major reporting effort to gather, verify and comprehensively catalog evidence of potential war crimes committed during one of the largest conflicts in Europe since the end of World War II.
War Crimes Watch Ukraine’s digital tracker documents visual evidence of apparent targeted attacks on civilian buildings and infrastructure — including on hospitals, schools and residential areas — and tracks other violations of international humanitarian law.
The co-published database is interactive, allowing readers to explore incidents by date, city, type of target, and whether civilians or children were killed in an attack.
For incidents not witnessed by AP journalists, a team of reporters works to verify the events using a variety of web tools, geolocating images posted on social media, comparing them to earlier photographs or satellite imagery, and confirming their veracity. The reporters seek out corroborating social media posts and published witness accounts, and interview additional witnesses to the events, in addition to looking for official confirmation of attacks from organizations such as the United Nations.
Events are only added to the War Crimes Watch Ukraine database after they are independently confirmed. AP and FRONTLINE also consulted with experts in international war crimes law to understand what separates a violation of international law from wartime collateral damage.
Direct to War Crimes Watch Ukraine