What are war crimes, Russia does them in Ukraine, can Putin be prosecuted?

London – As Horrible scenes unfolded President Joe Biden on Monday, following the withdrawal of Russian troops from the city of Pucha in Ukraine Russian President Vladimir Putin has been charged with war crimes.

“He is a war criminal,” he said. Biden said. “I think this is a war crime. … he should be held accountable.”

The United States has already formally accused Russian forces of committing war crimes in Ukraine, and several national and international organizations have launched investigations and gathered evidence to make the case. But can Putin ever face a war crimes trial?

What are war crimes?

There are many international agreements – the Geneva Convention and the Geneva Convention that are both very important – that establish international legal standards for war. Violation of those standards is a war crime that can be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and the perpetrators could be jailed.

National governments, unilaterally or collectively, may conduct their own war crimes trials and prosecutions on the basis of their own laws or universal jurisdiction, which determines whether certain war crimes are too extraordinary and shocks the conscience of mankind as a whole. So the case can be pursued anywhere.

Deliberate attacks on civilians are war crimes, “said Jim Goldston, managing director of the Open Society Foundation’s Initiative for Justice. Told CBS News.

Goldston said there were several indications that Russia was committing war crimes in Ukraine.

“Now a massive effort is underway … to gather all this information and organize it, where the military forces are, what the targets are, what structures are being targeted, and gathering evidence. People in these areas are reported to be vulnerable,” he said.

All information collected may be used as evidence in potential war crimes trials in the ICC or in separate courts.

“One of the challenges in such investigations is to demonstrate the connection between what is happening on the ground and those who have military or political responsibility for ordering these attacks,” Goldston said.

Is Russia committing genocide in Ukraine?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zhelensky has called Russia’s actions in Ukraine “genocide” and called for help from countries around the world.

“The aerial bombardment of a children’s hospital is the ultimate proof that genocide by Ukrainians is taking place,” Zhelensky said on March 9.

But when recognizing horror Atrocities US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Monday that they had found no evidence of genocide in Ukraine, which was being held by Russia.

Under international law, genocide is defined as “acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, ethnic or religious group.” This includes killing members of the group or causing serious physical harm, deliberately creating living conditions designed to destroy the group, forcibly removing children from the group and forcing them to take action to prevent them from being born into the group.

Whether Russia’s actions in Ukraine are tantamount to genocide is still being debated by experts, Professor Alex Hinton, director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights at Rutgers University, wrote in The Conversation. Russia has targeted civilians and created “severe living conditions” in many parts of Ukraine, including the besieged city of Mariupol, where civilians without food or water continue to be denied access to life-saving exports. Hundreds of Ukrainians, including children, were reportedly forcibly taken to Russia. In general rhetoric, it undermined and denied the very existence of the Ukrainian identity and outlined its goal of eradicating it in some areas.

“There is a significant risk of Russian genocide in Ukraine,” Hinton wrote. “A genocide may have already begun.”

Can Putin be prosecuted for war crimes?

“Traditionally in international criminal courts, it is very difficult to take [war crimes and crimes against humanity] We can go all the way, ”Philip Sands, law professor and director of the Center for International Courts and Tribunals at University College London, told the BBC News Network’s partner network.

Sands has called for a special international tribunal to be modeled among many academics and former world leaders. Nuremberg TestsConducted for Nazi leaders after World War II, to treat Russian leaders for the crime of “aggression” in Ukraine.

“Aggression is a crime waging an illegal war,” Sands said. “It’s part of international law, it’s part of Ukrainian law, and it’s very clearly established in the current case, because there is no justice.”

In the case Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – Avoiding the most unlikely recommendation from the United Nations Security Council, which has Russia’s veto power – The ICC has no jurisdiction over the crime of aggression, so a separate tribunal is necessary for any charge. But since this is an act of waging an illegal war, it would be easy to blame Putin for it.

“The crime of aggression is, by definition, almost a leadership crime,” Goldston said. “Only leaders really have the power to occupy another state, or a small circle around them really has the political power to do that.”

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.

“What happens if there is a tribunal to charge him? It faces challenges. One, the immunity of the head of state. The physical question is huge, “Goldston said.

“But there are damaging consequences of the indictment, less detention,” Goldston added. Pointing to the allegations of Vin’s former political and military leaders Bosnian SerbsHe said: “I think it is fair that the charges, the general nature of the allegations, acted in a way that would tarnish and politically isolate them and not allow them to participate in political negotiations and diplomatic negotiations.

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