Ukraine is currently investigating more than 58,000 cases of possible war crimes by Russia, including those related to murder, kidnapping, indiscriminate bombings and sexual assaults.
Amidst the 10-month-long war in Ukraine, there is ample evidence that Russian troops are waging a full-scale war, flouting international laws on conduct on battlefields and the treatment of civilians. Ukraine is currently investigating more than 58,000 cases of possible war crimes by Russia, including those related to murder, kidnapping, indiscriminate bombings and sexual assaults. Reports by The Associated Press (AP) and Frontline independently identified more than 600 cases indicating violations of the laws of war.
Some of these cases are linked to attacks that massacred hundreds of civilians. “Ukraine is a crime scene,” Karim Khan, chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, told the AP. This comment of his is a bitter truth. Authorities have evidence of massive Russian war crimes in Ukraine. However, there is no prospect in the near future of arresting the soldiers who attacked Ukrainian civilians, the military officers who ordered them, and the politicians who approved the attacks. According to experts, there are many reasons behind this.
He said that Ukrainian authorities are facing a lot of challenges in gathering solid evidence from the war zone. Not only this, most of the soldiers who have committed the alleged war crimes have managed to escape from the Ukrainian authorities and have now crossed the Russian border. Even in successful prosecutions, justice has been limited. Take, for example, the case involving 21-year-old tank commander Vadim Shishmarin, the first Russian soldier to face war crimes charges. He surrendered in March this year.
In May, a Kyiv court convicted him of shooting a 62-year-old Ukrainian man in the head. Shishmarin was first sentenced to life imprisonment, which was reduced to 15 years’ imprisonment on appeal. Critics said that the initial sentence handed down to Shishmarin was unduly harsh, given that he had confessed to his crime. He argued that Shishman was following orders and had expressed remorse for his actions.
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