Ukrainian rights group Truth Hounds, which documents war crimes in the Ukraine conflict, was on Thursday awarded Norway's Sakharov Freedom Award.

Founded during the Maidan Revolution which led to the fall of pro-Russian former president Viktor Yanukovych, Truth Hounds has put together a team of experts investigating atrocities committed since the start of hostilities in the Crimean peninsula and the eastern Donbas region in 2014.

The Norwegian Helsinki Committee human rights organisation that awards the prize called Truth Hounds "a force to be reckoned with", honouring them "for their work to document war crimes and potential crimes against humanity".

"Their often dangerous work is fuelled by a desire to see justice done on behalf of victims and their families," said the secretary general of the committee, Berit Lindeman.


"This year's award underscores how grassroot activism combined with cutting-edge technologies provides the international court system with evidence to combat impunity and ensure accountability for war crimes," she said.

United Nations investigators have accused Russia of committing war crimes on a "massive scale" in Ukraine, citing bombings, executions, torture and sexual violence.

The Sakharov Freedom Award -- not to be confused with the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize -- was established in 1980 with the support of Soviet dissident and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov.

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A Ukrainian officer said the situation in the Kharkiv sector remains difficult, though he added there have been no significant changes in frontline positions.

It has regularly honoured human rights defenders from the former Soviet sphere.

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