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Conviction of Russia’s crimes has begun

Posted April. 09, 2022 07:27,   

Updated April. 09, 2022 07:27


Russia, which is committing atrocities on civilians in Ukraine, has been removed from the UN Human Rights Council. The UN held a special emergency session on Thursday and passed the resolution to suspend Russia from the UN Human Rights Council with 93 votes in favor, 24 in opposition and 58 abstained votes. Such outcome comes from Russian forces’ hideous crimes in Ukraine. Russia is the second country to be removed in addition to Libya, which was removed on account of violently oppressing anti-government protests in 2011, but it is the first permanent member of the UN to be removed from a UN body.

The resolution is the first of the international community’s outcomes to isolate Russia from the world, highlighting its war crimes. Western countries are tightening sanctions on Russia. The US Congress passed a trade bill that removes Russia’s Most Favored Nation status on trade transactions and the EU agreed to ban Russian coal imports. The World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and other international organizations, as well as G20, are moving to remove Russia as well.

Some argue that the international community should remove Russia’s status as the permanent member of the UN Security Council, but this is not feasible under current conditions where Russia has a veto right. It would also be realistically difficult to put Russian President Vladimir Putin and those accountable on the international war crimes trial unless Russian forces are defeated, and Putin’s regime is removed. This is the sad but ironic reality of international politics where universal values are unable to defeat physical power.

However, this does not mean that the international community’s efforts for conviction should subside. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a crime defined by the International Court of Justice and the indiscriminate bombing attacks are anti-human crimes that should be convicted by the International Criminal Court. There is evidence of Russia committing civilian murders in Ukraine. It may be realistically difficult to hold a war crime trial, but we can investigate and prosecute to unveil Russia’s unpardonable atrocities and make Putin’s supporters feel shame, which would prevent repeated wrongdoings. One must remember that there is no extinctive prescription in history.