On what legal basis can Putin be summoned to the International Criminal Court?

In this century, Europe is witnessing torture, massacres, rape and looting of the people of Bucha and other parts of Ukraine. An incurable wound and a repeat of the 1995 Srebrenica genocide. The situation in Ukraine is critical and the city of Bucha has been under Russian control for a month, and Russia in an unprecedented move massacred hundreds of civilians in the city of Bucha near Kyiv, and this barbaric act has saddened the world. According to the mayor of Bucha, more than 410 residents of the city have been killed by Russian forces so far, and some of them have been shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs.

Dozens of bodies wait to be buried at a cemetery in Bucha, outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. Ukraine’s president told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that the Russian military must be brought to justice immediately for war crimes, accusing invading troops of the worst atrocities since World War II. He stressed that Bucha was only one place and there are more with similar horrors. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The bodies of 57 people were found in a mass grave in Bucha. According to the report, several bodies were still visible, some of which were only partially buried, as well as several explosions in the port of Odessa, which destroyed an oil refinery and three fuel depots with naval and air missiles. The brutal massacre is reminiscent of the repeat of the Srebrenica genocide (now Bosnia and Herzegovina) led by Yugoslav dictators Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic and supported by Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic, in which 8,000 people were massacred.

Does history repeat Europe’s largest genocide since World War II?

The intensity of the attacks is increasing every day, and the possibility of a possible increase in attacks, especially in southern and eastern Ukraine, is not far off. Human Rights Watch said in a statement that the Russian military had committed “war crimes”, “violations of the laws of war”, “rape” and “looting of civilian property” in Ukraine, and this time, Russia’s war crimes against Ukraine were proven to the world more than ever, and as long as Russia’s brutality against Ukraine continues, more brutal things will happen every day. By March 22, Mariupol officials said more than 2,400 civilians (excluding Bucha civilian casualties) had been killed in the city alone, and Russian attacks on homes, schools, shelters, hospitals and ambulances using cluster munitions and weapons. Performed microbial.#

Ukrainian servicemen attach a cable to the body of a civilian while checking for booby traps in the formerly Russian-occupied Kyiv suburb of Bucha, Ukraine, Saturday, April 2, 2022. As Russian forces pull back from Ukraine’s capital region, retreating troops are creating a “catastrophic” situation for civilians by leaving mines around homes, abandoned equipment and “even the bodies of those killed,” President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Saturday.(AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

The shelling of Ukrainian cities by Russia, from Kyiv to Mariupol and elsewhere, justifies the struggle to establish institutions for collection and documentation, and ultimately the immediate prosecution of Vladimir Putin for war crimes and crimes against humanity. If the trial is postponed, the death toll appears to be rising every day, with European and Western countries blamed for financial support for Ukraine’s war with Putin, as Russia exports $ 1 billion a day in energy. The occurrence of these crimes has led institutions to collect, document, and prosecute Putin’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, and this is a major test for the international community and the International Criminal Court, which claims to ensure lasting justice and security in the world. Therefore, the international community must impose tough sanctions on Russia. The sanctions include exports of Russian gas, oil and coal. Unfortunately, European and Western countries are reluctant to stop buying oil, gas and other energy from Russia for fear of the consequences of their domestic economies and dependence on Russian energy, and they have sacrificed crimes against humanity to their economic ideals, and apparently with clever policies, the EU’s biggest customers have told Ukraine that they are not willing to stop buying oil and gas from the Kremlin. On the other hand, they have cleverly said that they do not want the war to continue. Meanwhile, the EU’s dual policy is an important factor in the development of Russian attacks on Ukraine, and Vladimir Putin uses Europe’s dependence on its energy resources for political gain. We will continue to say that the international community’s basic sanctions against Russia are very necessary and effective, and that the European Union and the West should boycott Russia’s gas, oil and coal exports. The people of the world, who are dependent on Russian energy, must call on their governments to stop importing energy from Russia. Meanwhile, the United Nations and the International Court of Justice are silent on the plight of Ukraine, watching the massacre of the Bucha people, and seemingly forgetting their main mission of creating global security.


Genocide and crime against humanity is the deliberate and intentional destruction of all or part of the people of a race, ethnicity, religion or nation.

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A dead body lies on the ground in a street in Bucha, northwest of Kyiv, as Ukraine says Russian forces are making a “rapid retreat” from northern areas around Kyiv and the city of Chernigiv, on April 2, 2022. – The bodies of at least 20 men in civilian clothes were found lying in a single street Saturday after Ukrainian forces retook the town of Bucha near Kyiv from Russian troops, AFP journalists said. Russian forces withdrew from several towns near Kyiv in recent days after Moscow’s bid to encircle the capital failed, with Ukraine declaring that Bucha had been “liberated”. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)

Looking at history, we conclude that Putin’s crimes and the killing of civilians in Bucha and other parts of Ukraine are similar to the brutal massacre and genocide of Srebrenica in “present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina.” That war, led by Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic and backed by Yugoslav dictator Slobodan Milosevic, led to the massacre of 8,000 people, and today the world is witnessing the repetition of this tragedy by Vladimir Putin. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a major global challenge and the biggest challenge to international order since 1945. This is not the first time that Russia has shown military interest in the territories it now seeks to occupy: in September 1914, Russia occupied the city of Lviv. The Soviet Union returned for a second time in September 1939 and then regained control in the summer of 1944 until Ukraine gained independence in 1991. Therefore, the use of Russian military force in Ukraine is not unfamiliar. There are laws to protect Ukraine’s aggression, which are reflected in the UN Charter, which Putin has violated. In his televised speech, Putin presented a series of imaginary reasons for attacking Ukraine: “Greater Russia, fake Ukraine, Nazi Ukraine, genocide against ethnic Russians, and so on.”

Section 1: The Need for an Immediate Trial of Vladimir Putin at the International Criminal Court for Serial Murder and Genocide:

The Geneva Conventions and a number of other international laws and agreements explicitly state that “civilians” cannot be deliberately attacked and that the vital infrastructure for their survival cannot be attacked. Some weapons are banned because of the irrational or horrific suffering they cause, “such as anti-personnel landmines and chemical or biological weapons.”

Crimes against bodily integrity during war, such as murder, mass persecution of a group, are known as “crimes against humanity,” and it is clear that Russia has used “brutal” tactics. There is growing evidence that cluster bombs have been used in civilian areas in addition to massacres, rapes and looting in Bucha and other parts of Ukraine. Kharkov has been hit, and Russia has used thermobaric weapons against Ukraine, a weapon that creates a huge vacuum by sucking oxygen. Many experts believe that rape is in itself a crime called “offensive war.” In 1998, governments established the International Criminal Court, a permanent tribunal responsible for prosecuting crimes, including war crimes and crimes against humanity and genocide. Three Cambodian regime leaders who committed widespread crimes during their rule in the 1970s were convicted of crimes against humanity and genocide in 2010 and 2018, decades after committing their crimes. Other former history leaders, including Liberian President Charles Taylor and former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, were eventually convicted and sent to prison after being convicted of war crimes.We will be the Prosecutor General of Ukraine: «His office has documented more than 2,000 war crimes, killings and genocides in less than a month after the war«.Researchers in international law say: «It is quite certain that Putin will one day be charged with war crimes or crimes against humanity in Ukraine, accusations that make him an international pervert and a prisoner». Therefore, Putin’s trial in the International Criminal Court is inevitable. Attempts to prosecute Russian soldiers, officers, and political leaders following the brutal attacks and massacres of people in Bucha and other parts of Ukraine over the destruction of hospitals, schools, theaters, and residential buildings, and the shelling of Ukrainian cities by Russia. continues. The conflict that has driven institutions to collect, document, and prosecute Putin’s war crimes and crimes against humanity, and this is a great test for the international community and the International Criminal Court, which claims to ensure lasting justice and security in the world. The UN Security Council has set up missions to gather evidence of crimes. The International Criminal Court in The Hague has launched an investigation into serious crimes in Ukraine and is preparing to try Russian perpetrators in their courts. As Russian forces intensify their attacks on Ukraine, the possibility of Vladimir Putin’s international prosecution for his crimes is very high. Another key point is Russia’s diplomatic influence and veto power in the UN Security Council, and in the past Russia’s influence has prevented other potential war criminals, including Bashar al-Assad, from being tried in The Hague. Looking at the history of the International Criminal Court, it must be said that this court has already convicted Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir of committing a crime. The Sudanese people eventually ousted him, and the “isolation” strategy eventually paid off. ” Following the Russian attacks, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres accused the Russians of committing crimes. Referring to the Russian attacks, he said: “The Russian Federation has launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine in violation of the UN Charter.” Therefore, Putin’s trial in the International Criminal Court is necessary and inevitable.

How can Russian war criminals be prosecuted?

There have been a number of trials since World War II, including the 1994 war crimes tribunal and the 1994 Rwandan genocide tribunal. Today, the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice are involved in enforcing the laws of war, and it is strange that they have not yet reacted seriously to Putin’s crimes, and if the International Court of Justice rules against Russia, the UN Security Council will be responsible. It should be noted that Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council and can “veto” any proposal to prevent it from joining the UN Security Council. Historically, this is not the first time that a country like Russia has committed war crimes and genocide, and in the past the Nuremberg Trials in which key leaders such as Hermann Goering, Rudolf Hess and Joachim von Ribbentrop were tried in 1945. Nuremberg endorsed the principle that states could establish special courts to uphold international law.

Can the International Criminal Court prosecute the massacre and genocide in Ukraine?

Karim Khan, the Prosecutor General of the International Criminal Court, had previously said: “There is a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed in Ukraine”. With the available evidence, prosecutors and judges of the International Criminal Court can issue arrest warrants for the trial of defendants, including Putin, in The Hague.The killing of Bucha civilians leaves no doubt that Putin’s genocide is proven. The effectiveness of the International Criminal Court and the practical implementation of international law depend not only on treaties but also on politics and diplomacy, and the solution, like Nuremberg, once again lies in international diplomacy and consensus. Therefore, world leaders must establish a “special” tribunal to try Putin’s crimes and genocide.

Legal documents of Putin’s trial:

A): The Convention on the Prevention of Mass Killing and Punishment was ratified on December 9, 1948, and Ukraine acceded to it in December 1949. As a result, it justifies the complaint to the International Criminal Court. Article 6 of the Convention provides: “Persons accused of committing genocide or any of the acts referred to in Article 3 shall be tried in the competent courts of the country in which the crime was committed or in the international criminal court having jurisdiction over them «.Article 8 of the Convention explicitly states: “Any Contracting Party may call upon the competent authorities of the United Nations to take appropriate measures to prevent and punish genocide in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.”

B):The principle of responsibility of countries for illegal acts:

According to the general principle of international law, every state is responsible for the damage caused by illegal acts and is obliged to compensate it. The Permanent Court of International Justice describes this principle as follows:

This principle is part of international law and includes any breach of obligation, liability and compensation. It should be emphasized that the defect of international law is not within the scope of national obligations, but means the criminal defect of the obligations of international law, which according to the ruling of the International Court of Justice to the international community.

Thus, the crimes of genocide not only oblige the country in which the crime took place, but also hold the international community responsible for the crime. The nature of the principle (good for all) literally has a legal effect on the crime of genocide, which goes beyond recognizing the retroactivity of the genocide convention.

Another positive effect of this principle on the world community is understanding the nature of these cases and stopping genocide.

Section 2: European Energy Sanctions Against Russia:

European countries can be blamed for financial support in Ukraine’s war with Putin, Because Russia earns $ 1 billion a day from energy exports and that revenue strengthens the foundations of Putin’s bloody regime and dictatorial rule. If the international community wants to impose tough sanctions on Russia, it must completely ban Russian gas, oil and coal exports. Unfortunately, the EU’s largest customers have informed Ukraine that they are not yet ready to stop buying oil and gas from the Kremlin and it is imperative that the international community use energy purchases as leverage to force Russia to end its war in Ukraine. If the EU is not ready to end Russia’s energy imports, a “revenue from energy sales” mechanism should be set up to continue exporting gas and oil from Russia to Europe. In this way, Putin can not get this money and these revenues will be maintained until Russia withdraws its forces from Ukraine. This is exactly the mechanism used in relation to Iran.

Russia’s dependence on Europe:

Russia is significantly dependent on Europe in terms of exports and imports, and it is not only Europe that depends on Russia, but Russia’s dependence on Europe is much greater than Europe’s dependence on this country. Europe accounts for 50 percent of Russia’s total oil exports and 80 percent of Russia’s gas exports, and Russia’s economy is heavily dependent on oil and gas exports, and the loss of European markets has negative consequences for the country. Justifying that Europe may be able to replace some of Russia’s other oil and gas resources, Russia does not have the infrastructure to compensate for lost revenues from oil and gas exports to Europe through other markets. Russia’s stock market index has fallen by half these days, and Russia’s national currency has lost almost a fifth of its value, which is unbearable for Russia in the long run and it forces Russia to retreat.


In the face of Putin’s blatant crimes in killing more than 410 civilians in Bucha and other parts of Ukraine, the people of the world must call on their governments to refrain from importing energy from the Russian government. The world must rise up against this injustice, given Putin’s repeated attacks on Ukraine. Governments and nations around the world “must” jointly wear the boots of repression to uphold the fundamental rights of the innocent people of Ukraine. It should be noted that in the event of a delay in the trial of the criminal Putin, the number of deaths is increasing every day, and if the war continues, history will see a repeat of the brutal massacre of Srebrenica (led by Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Slobodan Milosevic), the Yugoslav dictator, and these crimes are a clear example of crimes against humanity and genocide. In accordance with Articles 6 and 8 of the Convention on the Prohibition of Mass Killing and Punishment of December 9, 1948, to which Ukraine acceded in December 1949, the International Criminal Court justifies the jurisdiction of Putin’s crimes and countries around the world must force their governments to stop buying energy from Russia. It is also essential that the International Criminal Court, without delay, first try to stop the war and then try the criminal Vladimir Putin in a public court in front of a media magnifying glass to heal part of this historic pain.

The final word:

The world should not allow Russia to continue these aggressions and genocides in Ukraine, and today the world is responsible for Russia’s criminal actions to prevent the killing of innocent civilians. Silence in the face of Putin’s inhumane behavior is complicity in crime and will make it commonplace in the world. Thus, indifference and silence in the face of oppression, for whatever reason, are seen as a seal of approval for Putin’s oppressive actions and methods, and make him even more rude.

About the Author
Hamidreza Zarifinia is an Iranian writer, researcher and journalist in London.