ICC launches investigation into Russian-Georgian conflict
Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Fatou Bensouda requested authorisation to initiate an investigation into the alleged war crimes in relation to the August 2008 armed conflict in Georgia.
According to the Yevropeiska Pravda (European Truth) Ukrainian media outlet with reference to Deutsche Welle, the Prosecutor has evidence that “up to 113 ethnic Georgian civilians were killed as part of a forcible displacement campaign conducted by South Ossetia’s de facto authorities. Up to 18,500 ethnic Georgians were forcibly displaced and more than 5,000 dwellings were destroyed.”
“The ethnic Georgian population living in the conflict zone was reduced by at least 75 per cent,” Fatou Bensouda said. In addition, according to the prosecutor, those actions were backed by Russian troops.
At the same time, Fatou Bensouda said that the attack of the Georgian armed forces on the Russian peacekeepers could be considered as a war crime as well. The prosecutor’s office of Georgia had conducted its own investigation, but it come to deadlock, which was one of the reasons why Fatou Bensouda appealed to the ICC.
As reported, according to human rights defender Volodymyr Yavorsky, this case is important for Ukraine as it will show whether it is possible to bring the Russian military to justice.