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Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightDeep Readchevron_rightRussia accused of war...

Russia accused of war crimes in Europe

Russia accused of war crimes in Europe

The illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine has been marked by insensate bloodlust. War necessitates killing combatants. Inevitably, collateral damage also kills civilians. However, the Russian military has often deliberately targeted civilians.

The Russian Armed Forces have intentionally cut off water, electricity, and gas to the civil population of several cities, including Kyiv. Civilians will soon either die of dehydration or drink unportable water. Either will cause death within days.

There are countless examples of the Russian Armed Forces purposefully shelling civilian housing. Demolishing an apartment block is only permissible if enemy fighters were sheltering therein. The civil administration building of Kharkiv was bombed and this killed dozens of civilians.

The Ukrainian Government claims that over 2,000 civilians have been killed. This figure has not been confirmed. But the United Nations has affirmed at least 163 civilians have been killed. The UN figure is far below that of the Ukrainian figure because the UN has to ascertain that the deceased existed, the person has died, the death is a result of the war and that the person was a civilian.

The Russian Army deservedly enjoys a terrible reputation from savagery against civilians. It wilfully murdered several thousand of its own civilians in Chechnya. Chechnya is a Muslim region of Russia. Many Chechens fought for independence from 1994 to 2004. The UN, Amnesty International and valorous Russian human rights organisations have proven that many large-scale atrocities were perpetrated by the Russian Army in Chechnya.

In Syria, the Russian Military has carried out numerous chemical gas attacks. These barbaric attacks have killed thousands of Syrian civilians. No matter how absolutely irrefragable the evidence, Moscow will continue to lie.

Not all Russian soldiers are bad. There are videos of Russian military vehicles being surrounded by unarmed Ukrainian civilians. The civilians stand in front of the vehicles and jump on them. The soldiers inside must feel menaced. The civilians could deflate the tyres of the vehicles, break into the car and take their guns off them. The Russian soldiers did not run over the civilians, nor did they open fire. There are good people in every army. Every personality type can be found in every army. The luckless soldiers of the Russian Army are also helpless victims of Putin's demented tyranny.

Russians are pumped full of pro-war propaganda. They are bamboozled by incessant and full-spectrum bile on radio, TV, the internet, the newspapers and in school. It is difficult not to believe the Big Lie that is constantly broadcast by the Russian media virtually all of which is state-owned either directly or indirectly.

In Russia, if you publish anything that is not from official Russian sources on the Ukraine conflict, you will be imprisoned for 15 years. That is worse than under Stalin.

The Geneva Convention was drawn up by the Soviet Union as well as other nations in 1949. It is written in Russian, English and French. All three languages are equally authoritative. Therefore, the Russians cannot have the slightest excuse for failing to comprehend it.

For Putin, everything is a fight with absolutely no holds barred. There is neither legal limit nor any ethical limit. He has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons. Here is a man who is willing to annihilate the entire human race.

Russia is a country without any checks or balances. The President cannot be lawfully deposed. Parliament is a rubber stamp. Elections are a farce. Serious opponents of the president are branded 'extremist' and jailed for 8 years. There is no independent judiciary. There is no free media. People have no right to protest. Therefore, injustices cannot be righted. People are not allowed to call for peace. Pro-war demonstrators are arrested and fined USD 300 which is a month's salary for most. Second time offenders are incarcerated.

On March 3 the Russians surprisingly agreed to a humanitarian corridor to certain cities. Who will deliver aid and remove civilians? Some have suggested India as it abstained on the UN Security Council Resolution. India would be acceptable to both sides. Putin has broken every promise he ever made. It remains to be seen if the humanitarian convoys will be allowed through.

Do not believe Putin's denials. He said his massive military build-up was no threat to Ukraine. He repeatedly vowed NOT to invade Ukraine. Now he says that Ukraine is not even a nation. He says that its Jewish President is a Nazi. Putin's army has 10 times the heavy weapons that Ukraine has, but Putin said that Ukraine is a threat to Russia.

It is all very dispiriting and worrisome. Is there someone in Putin's camarilla with the courage and the sanity to stop this mass murderer before he starts the Third World War?

(George Callaghan is a political analyst based in the UK. Views expressed are personal)

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TAGS:Russian invasionRussian WarRussia-Ukraine Conflict
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