Ukraine can prove Russia’s guilt at International Criminal Court – diplomat

Дата: 20 April 2016
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Ukraine can prove the involvement of Russia in the war crimes in Donbas and Crimea.

However, the Ukrainian authorities do not make any efforts to do this, said Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine, ex-representative of Ukraine to the UN Human Rights Council Volodymyr Vasylenko, the Press of Ukraine media outlet reports.

According to the diplomat, a qualified group of lawyers can easily prove guilt of Russia, but there is no such group so far. The Prosecutor General’s Office, Vasylenko said, does not address this matter.

There are grounds for an appeal to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and the appeal was already submitted. However, I’m not sure that it will give the result due to the inactivity of the Ukrainian authorities. Russia, as a country that has not ratified the Rome Statute, cannot apply to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. However, if the citizens of this country committed war crimes in the territory of another country – if another country recognizes the jurisdiction of the court in the Hague – then they can be held liable,” the diplomat said.

Vasylenko considers shameful the fact that Ukraine still has no body that would deal with the preparation of Ukraine’s consolidated claim against Russia.

A consolidated claim should legally prove the fact of aggression, assess the aggression acts, calculate the losses, identify the war crimes committed by the Russian servicemen. And this is not done yet. In this case, Ukraine would formally send Russia the relevant requirements and the accompanying note. At the same time, the documents should be submitted to the UN. Of course, Russia would deny everything. In such a case, it would be necessary to submit the dispute over the fact of aggression with the International Court of Justice. It is a real legal way to solve this issue. However, the Ukrainian government does not do this,” Vasylenko said, summing up.

In early April, the International Criminal Court in The Hague held a preliminary hearing on the crimes committed by the Russian servicemen in Ukraine. The Donetsk region residents witnessed against the militants. Among them were pastor Oleksandr Khomchenko, taken captive and tortured by militants in Donetsk, Iryna Dovhan, who was wrapped into Ukrainian flag, tied to a pole in Donetsk, and given a poster reading “She is killing our children” in her hands, Lviv student Yuri Yatsenko, who was held in a Russian prison for a year.

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