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[NEWS IN-DEPTH] Is Russia Committing a War Crime in Ukraine? Analysis Updated: 2022-04-06 17:05:52 KST

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gave a graphic account of the situation on the ground to the UN Security Council, claiming Russians killed civilians in Bucha for "pleasure."
Earlier, he warned worse atrocities may emerge amid the ongoing retreat of Russian forces around Kyiv.

An increasing number of leaders are accusing Russian forces of committing war crimes.
U.S. President Joe Biden has called for a war crimes trial against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his administration is set to announce new sanctions in the coming hours in coordination with G7 nations and the EU.

What exactly are war crimes, is Russia committing them in Ukraine, and could Vladimir Putin be prosecuted?

It's the topic of our News In-depth tonight with Professor John Blaxland. Head of International Security and Intelligence Studies at ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

As new horrors emerge from besieged Ukrainian cities where Russian troops have left, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a fiery speech to the UN security council condemning Russia for its atrocities just days after worst allegations of war crimes were made in Bucha, shocking images from the town of Borodianka, situated on the outskirts of Kyiv.
First of all, what are war crimes? What constitutes a war crime?

Would you agree that Russia is committing a war crime in Ukraine?

Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called Russia's actions in Ukraine "genocide," appealing to nations around the world for help.
Is Russia committing genocide in Ukraine?

Although many of us would agree that Vladimir Putin is committing atrocities in Ukraine and to the Ukrainian people, could Putin be tried for war crimes?
Traditionally in the international criminal tribunals, it has been very difficult to take war crimes and crimes against humanity all the way up to the top.

Do you think the U.S., European countries, as well as the rest of the international community are doing enough to aid Ukraine and condemn Russia? What more can or should the world's powerful countries do to put a stop to this terrible war?

In response to Russia’s war crimes, the U.S. restrained Russian debt payments and announced the possibility of imposing new sanctions on Russia as early as Wednesday.
The European Commission proposed a phased ban on Russian coal imports as part of another round of sanctions designed to further diminish Putin's war expenses.
Are these sanctions working? Or will these sanctions prove to be effective in putting a stall in Russian action and its invasion of Ukraine? Does the international community have any other option that may be more effective and efficient than slapping sanctions on Russia?

Professor John Blaxland, Head of International Security and Intelligence Studies at ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs many thanks for your insights. We appreciate it.
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