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Babyn Yar memorial teaming up with French priest to document Russian war crimes

Father Patrick Desbois, a French Roman Catholic priest who since 2004 has led an international effort to locate sites of mass shootings during the Holocaust in Ukraine, will join with the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center to document alleged war crimes by Russia in Ukraine.

A unit created by the Babyn Yar memorial together with Desbois’s group, Yahad in Unum, will collect testimonies and evidence of civilians being targeted with the goal of aiding an international war crimes investigations.

Father Patrick Desbois, center, conducting a training at the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, January 2018 (Yahud In-Unum)

Desbois says in a statement that eyewitness testimony will be key to countering Russian claims denying wrongdoing.

“Almost 20 years ago, my organization Yahad In Unum and I began to investigate the Holocaust by Bullets crimes committed in Ukraine followed by other countries, in each village occupied by the Nazi units,” he says. “I never thought that in 2022, I would need to once again be investigating war crimes on these same lands.”

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