With the mission to hunt for the truth, chase the perpetrators and protect the unprotected Truth Hounds (TH) aims at:
- Enhancing the quality of domestic justice in prosecuting war crimes committed on Donbas and crimes against humanity committed in Crimea;
- Bringing to national and international justice the perpetrators of war crimes committed on Donbas and crimes against humanity committed in Crimea;
- Protecting the victims of war.
We have developed these three pillar objectives as a result of eight-year work of documenting international crimes and grave human rights violations that have been committed in the context of the conflict in Ukraine and other conflict-affected regions of Eastern Europe and middle Asia.
During this time more than 150 field missions have been deployed to mainly Eastern Ukraine and Crimea. Evidence of the international crimes were thoroughly collected through:
– obtaining witness testimonies;
– producing photo and video on the alleged crime scenes;
– Analysis and systematization of the evidence into the data-base;
– identifying alleged suspects;
– preparing dossiers.
Many dozens of cases have been formed for further transmitting both to the international courts and Ukrainian judiciary.
Apart from the “human impact” side Truth Hounds is much involved in the cases of damage to the environment caused by hostilities. The goal is to systematize data on the environmental situation and sources of hazards in the area of conflict and to distribute the data to decision makers.
In 2018 Truth Hounds supplemented its activities in documenting war crimes with workshops for prosecutors and investigators dealing with war crimes. Since then, Truth Hounds has conducted several dozen workshops, training programs and lectures on International Humanitarian Law for prosecutors, policemen and security service investigators. Engagement in workshop activities has put Truth Hounds in a unique position of witnessing the progress of prosecutors’ and investigators’ literacy in IHL.
As a result, a significant portion of the portfolio of the prosecutors who deal with war crimes consists of the cases prepared and analysed by Truth Hounds. In some regional prosecutors’ offices, cases submitted by Truth Hounds are prioritised as the most important and promising. TH communicates with prosecutors’ offices almost daily and in some spheres has become the prosecutors’ main advisor on war crimes-related issues.
Alongside work on national level Truth Hounds also actively works on seeking accountability for responsible for grave human rights violations on international level. For that purpose we submit collected evidence of international crimes to the ICC and actively work with foreign colleagues to try to apply a universal jurisdiction mechanism. Sanction work is also in our scope.
Additionally we have got in touch with the Hoover Institute archive as well as with Tymothy Snyder archiving initiative and the Arolsen Archives to have the data saved for the future generations for the purpose of historic truth.