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Ukraine: ICITAP Participates in International Forensics Conference in Kyiv Focused on War Crimes During Missile Attack

On December 16, the Kyiv Scientific Research Institute of Forensic Expertise of the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice hosted its fourth annual international conference on advances in forensic science.  This year’s theme was “Current Issues of Forensic Expertise, Criminalistics, and Criminal Procedure,” and was held virtually because of the ongoing war in Ukraine. The war-crimes focused conference had presentations from the Ukrainian President’s Office, Ministry of Justice, National Police, State Security Service, State Broder Guard Service, and other Ukrainian government, scientific, and academic officials.  International participants included the United Nations, INTERPOL, the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, and twenty nations as diverse as Brazil, Greece, Botswana, and Switzerland. Representing the United States was the Kyiv-based ICITAP Mission Advisor (bottom photo). Within minutes of the opening comments, Kyiv and several other cities in Ukraine were attacked by Russian missiles and explosive drones.  After Kyiv-based participants sought safety in bomb shelters and hardened offices, the Conference organizers announced, “Not even 100 Russian missiles will stop our work” and continued the conference.  Unfortunately, due missile damage, power outages and communication problems, several presenters were not able to rejoin. Nevertheless, the conference proceeded on, with the ICITAP Mission Advisor providing opening comments on behalf of the Department of Justice.  For the remainder of the day, fascinating and pertinent presentations on crime scene management, trace evidence on explosives and missile components, DNA, stenography (codes hidden in images), anthropology, body 3D imaging for identification, and many other war-crimes related topics were presented. The closing comments by conference host were profound and dramatic, exemplifying the incredible resilience and courage of the Ukrainian people. In Ukraine, ICITAP works with the support of the Department of State, Bureaus of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and International Security and Nonproliferation (ISN).

Updated August 11, 2023