Last week (November 28 – December 4), the problem of bringing the russian federation to justice was repeatedly raised in the international arena. The establishment of the ad hoc tribunal was supported by the European Parliament, the OSCE, NATO, and by the G7 countries. At the same time, it will not be easy to design new forms of punishment for criminals.
russia’s membership in organizations in the field of global security negates international mechanisms for ensuring peace and the aspirations of civilized countries. russia openly despises the OSCE, take their veto at the UN as a way of promoting their own interests. At the same time, they advocate for the sovereign equality of countries. And then, when in Moscow they cannot prove the falsity of the accusations against themselves, they resort to the favorite Soviet technique of “Whataboutism”.
russian politicians are degrading in their statements and cannot agree on shared positions, in particular on the negotiation track and shelling of Ukrainian infrastructure. The statements of russian politicians show traces of the idea of a truce as a guarantee for not having the Ukrainian counter-offensive and the avoidance of responsibility for war crimes. Likewise, russians do not hide that they seek international recognition of the annexation of Ukrainian territories.
russia does not forget about their citizens, either, when they openly give a legal assessment of the possible return of the death penalty. At the same time, Ukraine is accumulating international support for the supply of more air defense and anti-missile systems. The key effort still focuses on the restoration, maintenance, and protection of energy infrastructure from missile attacks by russian terrorists.
With each passing week, russia is getting closer to the tribunal
The process of bringing the russian federation to justice for the crimes committed against Ukraine is shifting to a more practical plane. Last week, the international community declared clear signals about the creation of a special tribunal for russia.
On November, 30, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that “the EU proposes to create a specialized court with the support of the UN to investigate and prosecute the crime of russian aggression.” The aggressor’s blocked money will not be waiting for the owners, either. On the contrary, it will go to the restoration of Ukraine, where losses from the consequences of the war have been estimated as of now at 600 billion euros. Brussels will develop a plan to confiscate russia’s frozen assets to transfer them to Ukraine.
However, the kremlin is expectedly not recognizing the prospect of creating international legal instruments for fair punishment. Straight from dmitrii peskov’s mouth, the top rf leaders say: “As for attempts to establish some tribunals, they will have no legitimacy and will not be accepted by us, they will be condemned by us.”
The establishment of an ad hoc tribunal requires the development of a legal architecture and the enlisted support of a significant number of countries. Ukrainian politicians are actively working on this, despite the challenges and difficulties.
On November, 29, in Berlin, the Justice Ministers of the G7 countries met with the Ukrainian delegation headed by the Ukrainian Minister of Justice, Denys Maliuska, to discuss the investigation of war crimes committed in Ukraine. The meeting resulted in the signing of a joint Declaration that consolidated the process of country coordination for the coherent establishment of the facts of war crimes.
“France is starting work on the creation of a special tribunal for the russian federation,” said Andrii Yermak, Head of the Presidential Office. Indeed, on December, 1, the lower house of the French parliament called on the EU countries to continue their effort to create a special tribunal, which caused indignation at the russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the negotiation group, leonid slutsky.
The russian side condemned the decision of the French parliament but the aggressor’s rationale was reduced to the favorite “Whataboutism” technique, when it is possible not to refute or prove the false accusations against themselves. Thus, russia, or, as Serhii Kyslytsia suggests to officially call them, moscovia, reminded France of the “war crimes” committed during colonialism in Algeria, Indochina, and Libya, which “remained unpunished and deprived France of the moral right to make such statements.”
Of course, the russians did not forget to mention the crimes of the terrible Ukrainian Nazi fascists. The role of a spokesman for this narrative was assigned to slutsky, who said: “Evidence of the crimes of the fascist Ukrainian regime – in hundreds, thousands of volumes of criminal cases that have been already initiated. But the real facts are of little interest to European capitals. There, justice is transformed into an instrument of the political order of the Washington, the main international criminal, in fact. ”
Support was also expressed for bringing russia to justice on 29-30 November in Bucharest, at a ministerial meeting of NATO member states, and in the Polish city of Łódź, at the OSCE event. “Today, we have taken another step towards the establishment of the Special Tribunal for the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine. An important additional event in the OSCE, sponsored by 34 states, is devoted to accountability for russian crimes. There is a strong and growing support for the tribunal among the participating states, “ said the head of the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kuleba.
There is a consistent search for organizational forms for the punishment of war criminals. However, russia is inly left with criticizing international institutions and preparing for reparations.
“In russia, they were betting that Europe would get “tired”of Ukraine. The kremlin hoped to see taxpayer protests. The West has made it clear: only russia will pay for the war unleashed against Europe. Today, they pay with arrests, confiscations, and compensations. Tomorrow, those will be reparations,” – said Mykhailo Podoliak.
russia’s damaging role in security institutions
It has long been clear that russia does not care about the current mechanisms for ensuring global security. By their actions, the aggressor discredits the institutions and organizations they are member of. The OSCE ministerial meeting in Łódź on December, 1-2, did not end with a joint resolution. It is impossible when one of the organization’s participating countries attacks the other. “Our organization was founded in order to ensure peace and cooperation among the participating countries… The main idea of the organization’s functioning was violated by the russian aggression against Ukraine, “Polish Foreign Minister, Zbigniew Rau, said.
Dmytro Kuleba called for reform of the organization and exclude russia from it. In his opinion, the OSCE paves their way to hell because russia abuses its rules and principles. However, the isolation of “fraternal” russia from international decision-making will not lead to global shifts because we are dealing with a completely uncontrolled regime.
“Imagine the situation that the russian federation is deprived of the Soviet veto power. And the Security Council gets on the table a decision that says: “To withdraw russian troops from the territory of Ukraine, to stop the aggression.” Or, do you rather envisage that after receiving this decision, putin will suddenly say, “Oh, finally, am Ibeing told what to do.” Never happening.” We are dealing with a country that blatantly ignores any provisions of international law, “said Serhii Kyslytsia, Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the UN.
dmitry polansky (Deputy Permanent Representative of russia, Nebenzia) generally believes that russia’s veto in the UN Security Council is an opportunity to comply with russian national interests, and a huge incentive to negotiate. “There are no legal mechanisms for changing the status of russia in the UN. Any reform requires the consensus of the Security Council, and without us you cannot do anything about our veto, or our membership and so forth, “he said.
russia is trying to ostentatiously show a commitment to security ideas but, at the same time, they intensify the front and criticize all international institutions. In particular, the russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated the importance of preserving the OSCE, which acts in favor of strengthening security and the principle of sovereign equality of States. At the same time, the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, sergei lavrov, said that “security in Europe is finally fragmented, and the OSCE itself is becoming, to put it mildly, a marginal organization.” Also, according to lavrov, the OSCE designated the Ukrainian fire on Luhansk and Donetsk.
It is worth considering the words of dmitry peskov: “Due to the position taken by the OSCE, the organization automatically loses its effectiveness. And the organization loses the opportunity, not in words but in action, to deal with the issues of security and cooperation in Europe. ” In other words, the condemnatory position of the security organization on the unleashed war deprives it of the opportunity to deal with security.
russia got entangled in negotiations, fantasizing about Polish annexation of the western part of Ukraine, and considering the death penalty
The past week did not go without statements about the resumption of the negotiation process. However, the russians are in such a hurry that they do not have time to agree on a unified position among themselves. As a result, they are confused in their statements.
For example, kremlin spokesman, dmitry peskov, said that “President Putin was, is, and remains open to contacts and negotiations. The best way to achieve our interests is through peaceful diplomatic means. ” Instead, lavrov who was not allowed to attend the OSCE ministerial meeting in Lodz by Poland, says that russia did not ask for any negotiations. At the same time, the Minister completely forgot that russia is conducting a “special operation in Ukraine”, not an aggressive war, and accidentally let slip that the russians went to war with Ukraine.
peskov’s statements with general demands of the aggressor became simpler, too. The kremlin speaker suddenly rejected the established narratives about the “Nazis”, “NATO enlargement” and “8 years of Donbas bombing” and indicated that he was seeking recognition of the annexed territories. Also, peskov reacted to Joe Biden’s statement about the withdrawal of russian troops from Ukraine and said that “the United States, as before, do not recognize new territories within the russian federation, and of course, this significantly complicates the search for the ground for mutual discussion.”
Advisor to the Head of the Presidential Office, Mykhailo Podoliak, believes that “the only purpose of any negotiations is to win an operational pause for recovery, consolidating the presence in the occupied territories, guaranteeing the absence of counterattacks and, most importantly, legal responsibility for mass war crimes.” However, the only negotiations that the occupier should prepare for are “negotiations with a special prosecutor on the possibility of improving conditions of detention,” Podoliak asserted.
russian politicians are also messed up with the bombing of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. In particular, serhiy lavrov assured that the rf attacked only those facilities of Ukrainian infrastructure that “provide military capacity” of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. “The high-point strikes disable the energy facilities fuelling the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and disrupt a huge number of weapons that the West pumps into Ukraine to kill russians,” he said.
At the same time, in a conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Sholts, vladimir putin said that russia was shelling Ukraine because of the provocative actions of the Ukrainian leaders. “The russian armed forces have for a long time refrained from pinpoint missile strikes at certain targets on the territory of Ukraine, but now those measures have become a forced and inevitable response to the provocative attacks of Kyiv against russia’s civilian infrastructure, including the Crimean bridge and the energy facilities,” – says a statement released on the kremlin’s website.
In order to shift the focus from their own expansion, russia decided to throw into the public space the misinformation that Poland intended to receive “compensation” for assistance to Ukraine, in the form of a part of the territory such as “Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk and most of Ternopil Oblasts of Ukraine. “In order to ensure the legitimacy of the planned territorial acquisitions, the Polish leaders decided to use the successful russian experience of returning the long-standing territories by holding referendums there,” – decided the director of the russian Foreign Intelligence Service, serhii naryshkin; and he was not even trying to embellish the references to the “successful” russian experience of annexation through referendums.
Such crude statements will only cause laughter of the Ukrainian and Polish sides. However, not everyone laughs after meaningful discussions in russia to bring back the death penalty. The Chairman of the Constitutional Court of russia, valerii zorkin, believes that for the death penalty to return, they only need to change the Constitution, and “if the authors advocating it are ready, as they say, be my guest.”
Obviously, the prospects of a legitimate capital punishment made russians tense. peskov rushed to reassure the population that the issue of the death penalty had not been considered in the kremlin. However, everyone remembers dmitry medvedev’s statements and his desire to shoot those who disagreed with the policy of the terrorist country.
Transformers and ASWs: Ukraine Prepares to Repel Terrorist Attacks
President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, in one of the evening addresses, emphasized that the war would end when we win or when the russian federation wants it. Until then, Ukraine will have to confront terrorists when the best they can do is to shell civilians. “Over the past nine months, russia has struck more than 16,000 rocket attacks on Ukraine. 97% of russia’s targets are CIVILIAN, ” said the Minister of Defense of Ukraine, Oleksii Reznikov.
Although the past week passed without massive attacks on civilian infrastructure, Ukraine is preparing for all possible scenarios. As of December, 2, according to the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, electricity producers provide for 83% of consumption needs, meaning that certain deficit is still there. “Ukraine receives equipment for the repair of energy facilities from almost all countries of Europe. The USA, Canada, Japan, the EU – all of them help. Hundreds of transformers and tens of thousands of generators are coming. Iassigned the Vice Prime Minister for the Reconstruction of Ukraine to create a coordination headquarters that will deal with the supply and distribution of generators, which Ukraine purchases and receives as part of humanitarian assistance “, Shmyhal said.
Ukrainian diplomacy has actively accumulated support to ensure the proper functioning of the energy sector and its protection from missiles. “To restore the power system, we need two things: transformers (the largest part of the power system), and we need ASWs to shoot down enemy missiles that are striking our infrastructure,” Dmytro Kuleba said.
Ukraine has received solid support from international organizations. On March, 29, NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, said that the Alliance will support Ukraine as much as necessary. There is currently a serious and substantive discussion on the transfer of Patriot complexes to Ukraine. Since last week, the Ukrainian sky has been protected by the first Spanish Hawk SAMS. At the same time, Britain promises to give new support to air defense.
NATO has clearly declared that the best way to achieve peace is to provide military support to Ukraine. Predictably, such a position was criticized by russian officials at various levels. sergei lavrov said that “the aggressive bloc demonstrates unprecedented expansionist globalism”, and called Europe “part of the processes aimed at reviving neo-Nazism.”
Those words resemble the agony of a political corpse because those who wanted to “break” Ukrainians with blackouts have long since staggered. “Even russian propaganda understands that you can fire a hundred missiles into the air worth a hundred million dollars to leave some city without light for a few days only. But this will not affect the course of the war and the inevitability of the russian defeat, “– emphasized Mykhailo Podoliak.