War crime charges may not be enough to deter Putin amid atrocities

In a week of uncovering the extent of Russia’s brutality against Ukrainian civilians, an indiscriminate attack on a train station Friday seems to provide the strongest indication yet that President Vladimir Putin is still not discouraged in his assault, even as he faced war crimes charges.

Two rockets hit a railway station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, killing at least 50 people and injuring nearly 100 as families and individuals waited to evacuate to safer parts of the country. country. Ukraine has demanded that Russia be punished for the shelling – and all crimes on its territory.

The remains of a Russian missile, one of two launched at a railway station in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, killing 30 people and injuring 100 others.

Anatolii Stepanov | Afp | beautiful pictures

The Kremlin has denied it is responsible for Kramatorsk . station attack.

It came in the form of hundreds of devastating images and more local accounts of mass murder and torture civilians came to light this week, mainly from the cities of Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, just outside Kyiv.

In Bucha alone, satellite photos of crowded graves seem to corroborate the mayor’s claim that more than 300 people were intentionally killed by Russian soldiers in the city. On the street there, several bodies were found with their hands tied behind them, indicating that they were executed. Others appear to have perished while trying to flee through humanitarian corridors.

The Kremlin has also denied any involvement in these attacks, despite clear evidence to the contrary.

A dead body lies on the ground next to a bicycle on the outskirts of Bucha, Ukraine. Many civilians are said to have been killed by Russian troops while trying to flee the city to the northwest of Kyiv.

Pictures of Sopa | Lightrocket | beautiful pictures

Western Allies and human rights group gathered to denounce indiscriminate attacks by civilians. G-7 foreign ministers on Thursday reacted to news from Bucha and elsewhere saying they “welcome and support” efforts to investigate potential war crimes and crimes against humanity caused by Russian forces.

They said: “The massacres in the town of Bucha and other towns of Ukraine will be listed as atrocities and serious violations of international law, including international humanitarian law and human rights, perpetrated by an aggressor on Ukrainian soil”. in a joint statement.

But not everyone believes such measures will be enough to deter the Kremlin from its onslaught.

Shelley Inglis, executive director of the University of Dayton’s Center for Human Rights, said: “It is difficult to know whether the threat of accountability weighs heavily on the minds of Russia’s military or political leadership. including Putin or not.

Nuremberg-style courts?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said the Kremlin-led attacks are genocide and called on those responsible to face war crimes charges in court – just as the case was established. live Nuremberg, Germany after World War II.

Meanwhile, Putin continues to deny that Russian forces are targeting civilians – despite evidence to the contrary – endorsing an alternative reality of Ukraine as the aggressor and insisting that Kyiv has fabricating evidence of war crimes. That even like satellite footage The streets littered with corpses in Bucha dating back to mid-March – when the city was under Russian occupation – contradict Moscow’s claims.

Local photos and accounts of the mass murder, torture and rape of non-combatants in the cities of Bucha, Irpin and Hostomel, just outside Kyiv, have raised calls for prime ministers. Russian criminals should be tried for war crimes.

Anadolu Agency | beautiful pictures

Meanwhile, investigations into war crimes continued under the leadership of the International Criminal Court, backed by Western allies.

Gathering evidence for such crimes is a lengthy and complex process, with no guarantee that Putin or the other perpetrators will eventually be prosecuted. Historically, very few heads of state have ever been held accountable for war crimes or crimes against humanity, and none during their time in office. Thus, the threat of war crimes investigations may not be enough of a deterrent for the Kremlin.

International condemnation or threats of war crimes will have little effect on Russia’s behavior. This is nothing new to them.

Bob Latiff

President, University of Notre Dame

Inglis of the University of Dayton said such tests could “elevate political views” for the Western alliance and further weaken Russia’s standing on the world stage, making it “impossible to envision a path that The Russians and Putin can negotiate to find their own way out becomes even more difficult.”

Others, however, are less optimistic that recent events, no matter how devastating, will bring an end to the war.

Civilians walk amid destruction on a street in the town of Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, after Ukrainian troops secured the area following the withdrawal of Russian troops.

Anadolu Agency | beautiful pictures

Bob Latiff, President of the University of Notre Dame, said: “International condemnation or threats of war crimes will not have much impact on Russia’s behavior. This is nothing new for them.” .

Thomas Kuehne, a professor at Clark University, said: “Like everyone else, I fear that the war will not end anytime soon.

“The history of war and war crimes over the past 100 years has consistently shown that war crimes like the ones we now see were committed with purpose and with full awareness of the impact of war. And we’re shocked, but sadly, we’re also used to witnessing such crimes and their consequences,” he said.

Indian and Chinese influence

However, there is another source of international action that could prove more powerful to Putin’s resolve, according to analysts. That’s increased pressure from India and China.

Mary Ellen O’Connell said: “Crime is increasing the determination of Ukraine’s supporters to continue and even increase military support and economic pressure. law professor at the University of Notre Dame, said.

If China changes its stance on the war, this could be a game changer for Putin.

Shelley Inglis

Executive Director, University of Dayton

India, which did not name Russia, said this week it “definitively condemns” the mass killings in Bucha and backs calls for an independent investigation, breaking its neutral stance. earlier in this country. On Thursday, it abstained with a vote, supported by two-thirds of the countries, suspend Russia from the United Nations Human Rights Council.

However, China – a key strategic ally of Russia, which has been at the forefront of the Kremlin’s line in the war – continues to oppose condemnation of the Bucha murders and has indeed voted against it. Russia suspends human rights agency.

Without a change of tone from the world’s second-largest economy, Mr. Putin is unlikely to be swayed, Inglis said.

“If China changes its stance on the war, this will likely be a game changer for Putin. But today China has moved from historically abstaining from voting on resolutions at the United Nations. concerning the war, to vote against the resolution”. she speaks.

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