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Is Vladimir Putin committing war crimes? Likely, but calling him out is unlikely to stop him, observers say

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
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Is Vladimir Putin committing war crimes? Likely, but calling him out is unlikely to stop him, observers say

iu


23.2.22
Russian troops have killed hundreds of civilians, including more than a dozen children, and shelled apartment buildings and neighborhoods in their assault on Ukraine, realities that qualify Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal, observers say. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described Putin’s overnight attack on the residential center of Ukraine’s second-largest city as “frank, undisguised terror. Nobody will forgive. Nobody will forget. This attack on Kharkiv is a war crime.” On Monday, the chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague said he plans to open an investigation "as rapidly as possible" into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. Already, Putin’s war against his far smaller neighbor to the west has created as many as 677,000 refugees. But can the urgency to bring Putin before the international bar of justice prevent him from killing more innocent civilians if Russia’s 40-mile military convoy reaches Ukraine’s largest city and capital, Kyiv? The short answer is probably not, according to war crimes experts. They say that the post-World War II effort to create an international framework to thwart brutal dictators like Adolf Hitler is too toothless, caught up in power politics and focused on war crimes already committed to make a difference when it comes to Russia’s invasion.

"Is Vladimir Putin committing a war crime? Yes. It’s very clear," said David Schwendiman, a former senior Justice Department lawyer and international war crimes prosecutor. Using the formal definition of war crimes, “you put Putin in the very same class as the people who were prosecuted at Nuremberg” for leading the Nazi campaign to exterminate Jews and other minorities, said Schwendiman, who headed the Special Department for War Crimes in Bosnia and Herzegovina for four years beginning in 2006. Like Schwendiman, other war crimes experts said the publicly available evidence against Putin is considerable. "I think Russia has taken an extraordinarily brutal approach to Ukraine. And I think that they are clearly, from the imagery that we're seeing, disregarding the rules of war,” said Michael Scharf, who argued a case before the International Criminal Court just last week and has served in the Office of the Legal Adviser at the State Department. “But I don’t think he cares. It doesn't matter,” Schwendiman said, noting that Putin’s armies have committed numerous war crimes before.


Putin IS a war criminal ... Chechnya, Afghanistan, eastern Ukraine, Syria, and now all of Ukraine.
 

Felis Leo

Moral clarity is needed
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Is Vladimir Putin committing war crimes? Likely, but calling him out is unlikely to stop him, observers say

iu





Putin IS a war criminal ... Chechnya, Afghanistan, eastern Ukraine, Syria, and now all of Ukraine.

It doesn't matter. Putin will likely never leave Russia or territories directly controlled by Russia for the rest of his life, however long that may be. He is not going to be caught by InterPol and extradited to the Hague to face a decade-long war crimes/crimes against humanity trial. What matters most is Western nations doing everything they can to make the war in Ukraine unwinnable and as costly as possible for Putin's regime.
 

Rogue Valley

Putin = War Criminal
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Russia's constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens.

How convenient.
 

Felis Leo

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Russia's constitution forbids the extradition of Russian citizens.

How convenient.

Well, Christ, of course it does. Think of how many perpetrators of Soviet crimes against humanity were living in Russia in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, including a few still-living members of Stalin's murderous coterie. A day would not have gone by without demands for extradition.
 

Rogue Valley

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Well, Christ, of course it does. Think of how many perpetrators of Soviet crimes against humanity were living in Russia in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, including a few still-living members of Stalin's murderous coterie. A day would not have gone by without demands for extradition.

Putin could have fixed that shortcoming when the Duma recently amended the Russian constitution (to allow him to rule past constitutional limits).

He didn't.
 
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