It’s obvious to us, but…
There are protocols, there are lawyers, and there is responsibility. The responsibility that russia will bear for everything that it is currently doing in Ukraine.
For the thousands of civilians killed, for high-explosive bombs, for lies, provocations, humanitarian catastrophes, damage caused, and for encroaching on our independence.
What russia has already violated:
Charter of the United Nations, clause. 4, art. 2.
All UN members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
Yes, russia (for some reason?) is a member of the United Nations.
The Hague Convention on the outbreak of hostilities, art. 1
Hostilities shall not commence without prior and express warning in the form of either a motivated declaration of war or an ultimatum with a conditional declaration of war.
Nothing clear was heard either from putin in his speech or from other representatives of the russian federation. The war began early in the morning, as did World War II.
Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, art. 48
To ensure respect for and protection of civilians and civilian objects, parties to a conflict must always distinguish between civilians and combatants, as well as between civilian and military objects, and accordingly direct their actions only against military objects.
Convention on the Laws and Customs of War on Land, art. 25
It is prohibited to attack or bombard unprotected cities, villages, residential buildings, or structures in any way.
As of March 9, according to military and civil administrations, as a result of hostilities, russian troops destroyed 312 objects and partially 1,662 buildings of critical infrastructure in Ukraine. Among them are 40 educational institutions, 20 health care institutions, more than 1,300 residential buildings. In addition, 806 settlements have been completely or partially de-energized.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, clause 1, art. 3
Persons who do not take an active part in hostilities … are to be treated humanely, without any hostile discrimination. Violence against life and personality, including all types of murder, mutilation, ill-treatment, and torture, is prohibited against the abovementioned persons.
We already know about the deaths of thousands of civilians, of which more than 70 are children.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, art. 18
Civilian hospitals organized to provide care to the wounded, the sick, the disabled, and expectant mothers cannot under any circumstances be the target of attack, they are always to be respected and protected by the parties to the conflict.
This is: the shelling of the hospital and maternity hospital in Mariupol, the shelled hospital in the city of Popasna, the destroyed hospital in Izium, and many others.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, art. 40
The occupying state shall not have the right to compel protected persons to serve in its armed or auxiliary forces.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, art. 51
If the persons are citizens of the opposing state, they can be involved only in such types of forced labor, the performance of which is necessary to provide food, housing, clothing, transport, and health of people and which are not directly related to the conduct of military operations.
In 8 years of occupation, russia has been calling up the inhabitants of the occupied Crimea into its army. And before the beginning of the full-scale war in the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, they launched “general mobilization” and sent local troops to fight against Ukraine as part of the russian troops.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, art. 49
It is prohibited, for whatever reason, to carry out the forced individual or mass transfer or deportation of protected persons from the occupied territory to the territory of the occupying state or to the territory of any other state, whether it is occupied or not.
Russia systematically disrupts the evacuation of civilians, which is carried out by the Ukrainian authorities. At the same time, the kremlin offered its “evacuation” routes directed to its territory and towards friendly Belarus.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, art. 53
Any destruction by the occupying state of movable or immovable property that is the individual or collective property of private persons or the state shall be prohibited, except as necessary for the conduct of military operations.
There are many examples, it is both movable property of Ukrainians, and their houses, and other civilian objects. To be specific, we will mention the hangar with the civilian aircraft Mriya, which the occupiers burned, and the damaged Kyiv TV tower as a result of enemy missiles hitting it.
Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, art. 61
The distribution of relief consignments should be facilitated and controlled by the patron state. This responsibility may be transferred to a neutral state, the International Committee of the Red Cross, or any other independent humanitarian organization.
Let us remember how the occupiers tried to distribute humanitarian assistance in Kherson.
Convention on the Laws and Customs of War on Land, art. 28
Looting in the city or area, even if it was stormed, is prohibited.
There is plenty of video and audio evidence of looting by the russian military.
The crimes of the occupiers may be investigated by:
- The European Court of Human Rights It has already rendered a judgement twice, in which it ordered the rf to stop attacks and bombardment of civilian objects in Ukraine. Russia ignores them, which will deepen its guilt in the future.
- The International Criminal Court in The Hague investigates and prosecutes war criminals who do not stand trial in individual countries; it is the heir to Nuremberg which enshrined the principle that states can agree to the establishment of a special court for the protection of international law.
The prosecutor of the court Karim Khan has already instructed his prosecutors to conduct an investigation and collect evidence, the first investigators are already visiting Ukraine.
- The UN International Court of Justice, also in The Hague (resolves disputes between states but cannot prosecute individuals; if it decides against russia, the UN Security Council should enforce this decision).
Their powers in investigating russia’s crimes depend in particular on politics and diplomacy. It is likely that a one-time tribunal will be set up for this purpose. Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and leading international lawyers have already presented a declaration on the establishment of the tribunal. This will take time and will require the solidarity of countries, but this is the optimal way, experts are convinced.
P.S. If you witnessed or found evidence of war crimes of russia, send it to Ukrainian law enforcement through a special website.