What are the chances of pursuing Vladimir Putin for war crimes?

More than 50 innocent people trying to escape the fighting in eastern Ukraine Were killed Friday in a Russian missile attack At the crowded train station in Gramadorsk. Among the first responders: Investigators are gathering evidence to determine if this is a war crime.

War is full of unspeakable violence and civilians are always affected. But intentional killing of civilians is a crime.

“We see a deliberate attack on civilians,” said Beth von Shock, the foreign ministry’s official in charge of gathering evidence to prove Russia’s committing war crimes in Ukraine.

Mass graves in Pucha
On April 8, 2022, the bodies of those killed by Russian forces were found in a mass grave in Pucha, outside Kiev, in north-central Ukraine.

Hennadii Minchenko / Ukrinform / Future Publishing via Getty Images


Every day, there is another crime scene for trial. Some of them cover entire cities, where residents are ruthlessly bombed by the Russians.

“I think Mariupol Theater Attack That fact must be taken into account. “

David Martin, national security correspondent for CBS News, asked, “How do you differentiate between a war crime and a heinous crime?”

“All we have to do is focus on deliberate attacks on civilians or indiscriminate attacks on civilians,” Van Shaq replied. “They’s obvious war crimes. There’s no war fog here, do you?

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CBS News


Then there are the streets of Pucha, on the outskirts of Kiev, where The atrocities were committed by Russian forces. “People who were clearly in custody with their hands tied [were] The shot was fired, in the basement, in the fields, “said Van Shack. It was a close attack by Russian forces.

Martin asked, “Have you really seen the evidence that the Russians are trying to cover up the crimes?”

“Slightly, less than you expected,” Van Shock replied. “Bodies are left on the street. They seem to be doing this in an incredibly shameful way. It’s really shocking.”

“Who are you following first? The culprit who pulled the trigger? The commander of the troops? Or the leaders back in Moscow?”

“Obviously, the answer is all of the above,” she replied. “But you always want to raise the chain of command for the architects of this horrific violence.”

Judge Richard Goldstone, the attorney general for war crimes in Bosnia in the 1990s, said he would establish a key paradigm for Ukraine: “a lawyer can move to higher positions very quickly. There is evidence that Pucha is an exception.” It can be hard to put on the doorstep of generals. But if what we see in Pucha is one village after another, it is not a coincidence. Apparently an order for that system to be implemented. “

It took many years to investigate Bosnia, but the president of Serbia was the dictator Slobodan Milosevic., Eventually stopped at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Goldstone said, “President Milosevic, In his dream, he never thought he would come to trial in The Hague. But there was a revolution in his country, he was expelled, and he was airlifted to the hawk. “

Milosevic denied the allegations
Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic denies the arrival of a lawyer during his preliminary hearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, The Netherlands, on July 3, 2001.

Rafael Gaylord / Gamma-Robo via Getty Images


Milosevic, President Biden says a man who died in prison before a verdict was handed down should be tried as a war criminal, compared to Vladimir Putin.

“You saw what happened in Pucha,” Mr. Biden said Monday. “He’s a war criminal.”

Martin asked Von Shock, “How do you sue Putin?”

“Because he is basically a dictator with complete control over the machinery of the Russian state and the Russian military, this is actually a much easier case than we have seen in some other circumstances,” he replied.

“Do you need the verbal way he gave to his commanders?”

“Although not called the Smoking Gun Order, this idea of ​​command responsibility still exists – the pictures are so blatant that it is very clear that his troops are operating frantically to intimidate civilians in Ukraine,” Van Shock said.

Martin asked Goldstone, “Have you heard of anything that Putin can use as evidence of war crimes to date?”

“The more he does not say, the more important it is,” he replied. “He needs to know the facts by watching his own TV screen, and if he does not take action to prevent it, it will make him guilty of war crimes.”

“I’m not sure if Putin will be in custody,” he said.

Goldstone said, “If President Putin continues in Russia, he will not be tried at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Lawyers should not be prevented from doing their job in any way. You do not know what will happen.”

The accusation against Putin will turn the Russian president into an international fugitive. “When stepping foot in a European country or a North American country, it is not easy for a head of state to be afraid of being arrested,” Goldstone said.

Van Gogh said, “He’s inevitably trapped in Russia right now.

The same is true of other Russians charged with war crimes. “While they are inside Russia they will get some punishment, but what we have seen is that criminals will not stay within their own states. They want to go shopping in Europe or go on vacation somewhere. Identified, then law enforcement is enforced. And we have never been more integrated than we are now.”

Martin asked, “If no Russian had stood trial, would this attempt have failed?”

“I do not think so,” Van Shock replied. “I think it is incredibly important to document the truth of what is happening not only for the purposes of keeping an accurate history of this horrific moment in a timely manner, but also for the benefit of the victims and survivors.”


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Story produced by Mary Walsh. Author: Joseph Frantino.

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