Over the years, Russia has been accused of numerous war crimes, most notably in the ongoing conflict in Syria and the conflict in Ukraine.
These accusations are based on reports and investigations conducted by international organisations, human rights organisations, and other non-governmental organisations.
This article will look at the war crimes Russia is accused of committing as well as the evidence supporting these claims.
“Even war has rules,” according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. These are outlined in treaties known as the Geneva Conventions, as well as other international laws and agreements.
Military forces cannot intentionally target civilians or infrastructure that is critical to their survival. Some weapons, such as anti-personnel landmines and chemical or biological weapons, are prohibited due to the indiscriminate or atrocious suffering they cause.
The sick and injured, including injured soldiers who have rights as prisoners of war, must be cared for. Serious offences such as murder, rape, or mass persecution of a group are referred to as “crimes against humanity,” or “genocide” in some cases.
Syria: Attacks on Civilian Areas Without Discrimination
Carrying out indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas is one of the most serious war crimes that Russia has been accused of committing in Syria. Russian forces have been accused of using barrel bombs and other weapons that killed innocent civilians. The international community, including the United Nations and human rights organisations, has condemned these attacks.
Hospitals and Medical Facilities Are Being Targeted.
According to reports, Russian forces have targeted hospitals and medical facilities in Syria, a clear violation of international humanitarian law. This has had catastrophic consequences for the Syrian people, who are in desperate need of medical aid and care.
Chemical Weapons Use
Russia has also been accused of assisting Syria’s government in its use of chemical weapons on civilians. The most serious of these attacks, which occurred in Khan Sheikhoun in 2017, killed dozens of people. Chemical weapons use is considered a war crime and is prohibited by international law.
Ukraine: Crimean Annexation
The international community widely condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, which was seen as a clear violation of international law. This annexation has resulted in an ongoing conflict in Ukraine and increased tensions between Russia and Western countries.
Military Assistance to Separatist Rebels
Russia has been accused of providing military assistance to separatist rebels in Ukraine’s Donbass region. Russian soldiers and military equipment have been reported crossing the border into Ukraine, and Russian-backed separatists have been accused of war crimes such as torture, extrajudicial killings, and the use of prohibited weapons.
Civilian Areas Bombed
Russian forces have also been accused of bombarding civilian areas in Ukraine, including residential areas and hospitals. The international community has condemned these attacks, which have resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians.
The International Criminal Court (ICC)
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has opened investigations into both the Ukrainian situation and the Georgian situation, where Russia was accused of war crimes during the 2008 conflict. Russia, on the other hand, has refused to work with the ICC and has withdrawn its signature from the Rome Statute, which established the court.
Many of these allegations have been denied by Russia, which has defended its actions as necessary to protect its national security interests. Russian officials claim to be fighting terrorism in Syria and assisting Russian-speaking communities in Ukraine. They’ve also accused Western countries of meddling in their affairs and called for a respectful dialogue.