MOSCOW, March 22 (RAPSI) — Russia’s Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case over genocide of the peoples of the USSR during the Great Patriotic War joining in it all cases of Nazi crimes against civilians under investigation, according to the head of the body Alexander Bastrykin.

Taking into account the scale of punitive actions and the obtained evidence of their focus on the complete destruction of the civilian population of the Soviet republics, the Investigative Committee decided to initiate a criminal case on the genocide of the peoples of the Soviet Union by the Nazi invaders during the Great Patriotic War, Bastrykin said in an interview with RIA Novosti news agency.

The Investigative Committee Head noted that all criminal cases over genocide of civilians in the Novgorod, Pskov, Rostov, Oryol, and Volgograd regions, on the Crimean peninsula, in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Krais were combined in the single proceeding framework.

Speaking about the massacres in the area of Zhestyanaya Gorka village in the Novgorod Region in 1942-1943, Bastrykin stressed that at present investigators could identify the persons involved in these crimes.

In the course of the probe, investigators have already established the data of 33 officers of death squads involved in the crime committed in Zhestyanaya Gorka village, of which 15 persons have already died; identification of and search for the rest of these officers continues as part of ongoing investigative activities, the Committee Head said.

The circumstances of the murder of 214 minors in the Yeisk orphanage in October 1942, of the people held in concentration camps in Moglino village, Pskov region, and in the area of the city of Simferopol are also investigated as well as facts of mass killings of civilians in the Rostov region in 1942, where more than 30 thousand people were shot near Zmievskaya Balka village, the town of Shakhty and in the Morozovsky district. However, these are by far not all the facts that we know about, Bastrykin emphasized.