MOSCOW, June 22 (RAPSI) — The Russian Prosecutor General's Office has petitioned the Belgorod Regional Court to recognize the massacres committed by the Nazis on the territory of the Belgorod Region during the Great Patriotic War as war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide of the Soviet people, the press service of the Office reports. 

It was been established that in the period of 1941 through 1943, on the territory of the Belgorod region, the German invaders formed punitive battalions that massacred Soviet civilians and prisoners of war, made illegal arrests, and used cruel tortures. 

Thus, in early February 1942, in the area of the village of Mikhailovka, Belgorod region, about 2,000 people, including women and children, died at the hands of the German invaders. People in groups of 40 - 50 people were herded into sheds, where they were shot and burned, the Prosecutor General’s Office said in a statement. 

According to the prosecutors, in total, during the period of temporary occupation of the region by the Nazi invaders and their accomplices, 71,787 people were exterminated. 

The stated facts are confirmed by the testimonies of numerous eyewitnesses about the extermination of Soviet civilians on the territory of the Belgorod region and archival data, the Prosecutor General’s Office noted.