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Ukraine Updates: Massive War Crimes Committed by Putin | Europe In :60 | GZERO Media

Russians committing "massive war crimes" in Ukraine

Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective from Santa Monica, California:

Has Russia committed genocide in Ukraine?

Well, that's for the legal experts to sort out. There's a somewhat more liberal use of that particular term in American political debate than in Europe. In Europe, we are somewhat more careful with the use of that particular word for obvious historical reasons. But there's no question whatsoever that massive war crimes have been committed, and that primarily Putin has committed the number one crime on the international law, and that is aggression against another country. No question whatsoever.

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Ian Explains: What Is A War Crime? | GZERO World

Going after war criminals

The accusations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine have shocked the world. The Kremlin, of course, denies targeting civilians and says it’s the Ukrainians who are violating the rules of war. So what happens when one side does commit atrocities during a conflict?

It might be prosecuted for war crimes, like the Nazis who were tried in Nuremberg after World War II, just a few years before the latest version of the Geneva Convention was ratified in 1949, establishing the core of international humanitarian law.

More recently, the UN has set up special courts to prosecute war crimes like those in the former Yugoslavia (this week is the 30th anniversary of the start of the war in Bosnia), and 20 years ago the UN-backed International Criminal Court was established.

Such bodies were able to try the likes of Slobodan Milošević, the former president of Yugoslavia, and convict Charle Taylor, the Liberian warlord-turned-president.

But others evaded justice. Not everyone is on board with international tribunals for war crimes.

The US, China, and Russia have not joined the ICC — in the American case, Bill Clinton tried but it was never ratified by Congress.

Lack of jurisdiction will make it hard — but not impossible — to go after Russians accused of war crimes in Ukraine.

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