Hague receives report on Russia’s war crimes in Ukraine

Malgorzata Gosiewska at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, April 2016. Photo from: facebook.com/m.gosiewska

Malgorzata Gosiewska at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, April 2016. Photo from: facebook.com/m.gosiewska 

2016/04/25 • News, Russia, Ukraine

On 22 April the report “Russian War Crimes in Eastern Ukraine” was conveyed to the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Malgorzata Gosiewska, Polish MP and deputy chief of parliamentary Foreign Affairs Commission, informed about it on her Facebook. She was the initiator of creating the report which she has now conveyed to the ICC.

“The proof of Russian war crimes in Ukraine has been conveyed,” she wrote.

The 156-page document is based on 60 interviews with former detainees who managed to escape captivity of soldiers and officials of the Russian Federation as well as Russian-backed militants in southern and eastern Ukraine.

The report contains a short overview and references to the description of the venues where the crimes were being committed. Each action described in the report is a confirmed by a direct quote from victims’ testimonies.

Among the war crimes mentioned in the report are deprivation of freedom, physical and psychological tortures, robbery and killings. Some detainees were packed wall-to-wall, sometimes 100 prisoners to a room, with holes dug into the ground for toilets.

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Pages of the “Russian War Crimes in Eastern Ukraine” report. Photo from: facebook.com/m.gosiewska

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Małgorzata Gosiewska presented the report about the Russian war crimes in the Donbas region in March. On 5 April it was presented in the European Parliament and later in Ukrainian Verkhovna Rada.

“War crimes have no expiration period, and we’d like that the people involved remember about it. We would like them to remember that punishment will be inevitable. I hope that realizing this will help to stop the potential criminals and murderers… Hopefully this will relieve the suffering of those who are still in captivity, or prevent from more harm,” Gosiewska explained while presenting the report in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada on 19 April.

The Polish politician emphasizes that these materials must prove Russia’s accountability for the war in Ukraine and crimes committed in Donbas and Crimea. In her opinion, European politicians should reconsider how they deal with Russia after familiarizing themselves with the contents of the report.

Earlier last year another report about crimes against humanity committed by Russian-backed militants was published by the Coalition For Peace and Justice in the Donbas. Titled “Those that lived through hell,” it was based on interviews with witnesses and victims of kidnappings and torture. According to this report, 16% of the imprisoned by the Russian-backed militants in Donbas were forced to witness executions.

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  • Terry Washington

    So WHO will bell this particular cat? Poland or Ukraine?Given the former’s history of animosity to Russia( Czarist, Soviet or post Soviet),a war crimes report by a “right wing” Polish parliamentarian is open to criticism for alleged bias. Given that a Ukrainian court has recently jailed two Russian soldiers on alleged terrorism offences for 14 years each. I would advise Ukraine to sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC tout suite and let our friends from The Hague set about making the best cases against Putin’s henchmen that they possibly can!

    • Quartermaster

      Such a report is simply a starting point. It would be a good idea for Ukraine to sign the Rome statute, and let the ICC take the report and start checking things out. We already know what they are going to find. It would be nice to see a warrant put out for Putin as they did for Milosevic.

  • Terry Washington

    Ukraine should not only sign and ratify the Rome Statute of the ICC ASAP but drop[ leaflets via plane or helicopter over annexed Crimea and the so-called Donbas Republics informing the “little green men” that they will be held criminally liable for any and all war crimes they commit against Ukrainians- the prospect of spending their declining years in the dock or cell at the Hague(whilst the “fish eyed Chekist”- Putin- and his cronies live it up in the Kremlin) should cause the so-called”anti-fascist resistance” to shrink into insignificance. I wonder what defence these “little green men” will put up during their trial as war criminal- superior orders?- that was rightly rejected by the Allies at Nuremburg!

  • Terry Washington

    Given that war crimes and crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations( as certain superannuated sieg heilers are finding out), we can afford to play the waiting game in a sense!