Kiev
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Ukraine is preparing to submit war crimes charges against at least seven Russian military personnel, according to Reuters.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor-General's office has stated that it is preparing charges against three Russian pilots who are suspected of bombing civilian targets in Kharkiv and Sumy, as well as two operators of a rocket launcher who allegedly directed fire against residential areas in Kharkiv. Two other Russian soldiers will be accused of murder and rape, the report stated.

According to the Prosecutor-General's office, the seven men have already been notified that they are likely to be charged with war crimes and that investigations are underway. Several of the seven are in Ukrainian captivity while the others are likely to be tried in absentia.

Previous statements from Ukrainian officials have suggested that the government is ultimately planning to prosecute many hundreds of Russians for alleged war crimes, charges which Russia denies.

For its part, Russia has accused Ukraine of torturing captured soldiers and of persecuting Russian speakers living in Ukraine.

The United Nations has already established its own inquiry into violations of humanitarian law. According to the UN, over 2,400 civilians have already lost their lives in the conflict.