How Putin tries to get away with his crimes: How Russia tries to get away with its crimes
Alexander Khara Alexander Khara Ukrainian political expert

16:18 Nov. 22, 2016

How Russia tries to get away with its crimes

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a Russian-Ukrainian Summit with President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych on December 17, 2013 in Moscow, Russia. (GettyImages Photo)

Latest UN resolution names Russia 'occupying state', while Russia denounces International Criminal Court 

The latest UN resolution names Russia a state that has temporarily occupied a part of Ukraine's territory – the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

The document, presented by the UN Human Rights committee and approved by 73 countries, condemns the annexation of the peninsula and calls upon Russia to ‘uphold its obligations as an occupying state' under UN law.

Read also: Russia as official "temporary occupier of Ukrainian Crimea": pros, cons, and whys

Kyiv has praised the act as the first step towards deoccupation of the territory, with Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin calling it the world's message ‘no to gray zone of lawlessness and iniquity in Ukrainian Crimea'.

‘Naming the things as they are, is an important step forward, but this resolution just highlights the general trend related to Russia. Russia is turning from the authoritarian state into the totalitarian one. It oppresses its own citizens and those of other countries, neighboring first of all. It wages an aggressive war against Ukraine and Syria, and a clandestine war against the West', Ukrainian political analyst Alexander Khara says.

Khara adds, this important resolution adds to the latest series of documents, approved by international bodies, such as the latest PACE resolutions on Donbas and Crimea and a report, provided by an ICC prosecutor.

The UN resolution arrived just before Putin decided to denounce Russia's allegiance to Rome statute of The Hague-based International Criminal Court (the ICC).

Read also: Kremlin explains its withdrawal from The Hague court treaty

What it means, is that Russian citizens cannot be judged by this Court. Putin's decision coincided with the above mentioned ICC report, which has said the situation within Crimea factually amounted to a Russia-Ukraine armed conflict.

Ukrainian lawyers also seek to use The Hague as a tool to extract former country's top officials, hiding in Russia, and force them to stand trial for their reported crimes against the Euromaidan activists. But if it will actually work remains to be seen, considering Russia's apparent unwillingness to comply with the international law.

‘Putin is trying to protect his actions from the legal point of view, which are in contradiction with the Russian Constitution and its Criminal Code as well. Because according to the Russian Criminal Code, it's prohibited to wage an aggressive war, which is taking place in Ukraine and Syria. So he is trying to avoid the legal consequences of his actions', Khara says.

The analyst adds, given Russia's current status in the UNSC and considering its overall nature, it'll be difficult to bring the country's leadership to justice for its alleged crimes against Ukraine.

However, mounting evidence will serve as a reason to increase pressure on the key Russian individuals, putting them on the black list of the EU and the US.

Another reason to collect evidence is educational, Khara states, adding that ‘we need to show that any crime should be investigated and the wrongdoers will be made known to the public'.

‘One day it will be possible to prosecute them', he concludes.

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