Tuesday, 2 August ‘22

This week’s overview of key events and links to essential reading.

Tuesday, 2 August ‘22

This week’s overview of key events and links to essential reading.

Tuesday, 2 August, 2022

Ukraine’s New Prosecutor General

On July 27 the Ukrainian parliament voted to appoint the lawmaker Andrii Kostin to the post of prosecutor general, after his predecessor was suspended by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“The main tasks of the prosecutor's office today are to bring to justice all Russian war criminals, restore justice and defend the interests of Ukraine,” Zelensky said

Kostin, a member of the ruling Servant of the People party, emphasised that "no crime committed by the aggressor country will go unpunished".

Read more hereSee official photos

“Call Russia's Campaign Genocide’’

In an article for the German der Spiegel magazine, Ukraine’s minister of foreign affairs Dmytro Kuleba argued that that Russia was responsible for acts of genocide in Ukraine.

“The actions of the Russian state and its entire apparatus of officials, armed forces and mass media against Ukrainians are genocide,” he wrote. “Together with international partners, lawyers and the experts, we are gathering all the necessary evidence to hold Russia, the Russian leadership and the Russian military accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of aggression.”

Read more in German

Torture Video Goes Viral

A video posted on July 28 apparently showing a Russian soldier castrating a Ukrainian prisoner of war was widely shared on social media. A second video posted the following day appeared to show the same prisoner's execution.

The video sparked international outrage, with Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak wrote that “the fog of war will not help to avoid punishment for the executioners”.

Pro-Russian sources also announced the death of Ukrainian prisoners of war in a detention centre in Olenivka, in the Donetsk region, as a result of shelling from Ukraine’s armed forces on July 28.  The Ukrainian General Staff ordered an investigation into the incident and said that that the Russians were attempting to hide their torture and execution of prisoners. Russia had not allowed the Red Cross to inspect the prison there. The Ukrainian Media Initiative for Human Rights reported that there was no shelling near the prison on July 28.

The Ukrainian authorities published a statement denouncing the explosion as an act of terror, and calling on the international community to “immediately respond to a terrorist act”.

Ukrainian Courts Prosecute Cases from Country's East

The prosecution of a number of captive fighters from the breakaway People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR/LPR) began in a Kyiv court, Ukraine’s Sudovyi Reporter wrote.

A Lviv court recently found two LPR fighters guilty of treason and participation in a terrorist organisation.

Meanwhile, the trial of Russian tank officer Mikhail Kulikov, accused of firing at a residential building in Chernihiv, has begun. He faces eight to 12 years in prison.

Read more in Ukrainian

Ukraine Seeks Separate Tribunal for Russian Leadership

Anton Korynevych, an international lawyer and ambassador-at-large of Ukraine’s ministry of foreign affairs, stressed the importance of a special tribunal to try Russian leaders for the crime of aggression.

In an interview on July 29 he noted that the International Criminal Court in The Hague had jurisdiction over “the crime of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression. Three of these categories of crimes can be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court regarding the situation in Ukraine". He noted that Russia could not be tried at The Hague for the crime of aggression as Moscow had withdrawn its signature from the Rome Statute, which created the ICC, in 2016. “That is why we need a Special Tribunal that will complement the ICC jurisdiction," he concluded.

Read more in Ukrainian

Meanwhile, Oleksandra Romantsova, the executive director of the Centre for Civil Liberties NGO and co-founder of the Tribunal for Putin initiative, told Ukrainian television that the country needed to create a hybrid tribunal for Russian war crimes to speed up the process of bringing Russia’s leadership to justice.

Read more

Hague Hosts Ukraine Justice Conference

The government of the Netherlands hosted an Ukraine Accountability Conference at ministerial level in The Hague. The European Commission and the office of the ICC prosecutor were among the hosts.

Read more about the event

The Netherlands also sent some 30 Dutch specialists to Kyiv to assist the local authorities investigate war crimes – the largest ICC investigative team ever dispatched.

How Dutch experts help Ukraine with investigations

Meanwhile, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan paid his third official visit to Ukraine and announced the imminent opening of a field office to provide further support and work together with Ukrainian specialists on the ground.

Photographs

After shelling of the village of Orlivka, Donetsk region, 2 people were injured / Photos from the Facebook page of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.

A Russian soldier Nikolai Kulikov, Staff Sergeant, accused of shelling a high-rise building on the outskirts of the city. In the Desniansky District Court of Chernihiv, June 24, 2022 / Photos by Stas Yurchenko, Graty media.

The Ukrainian soldiers / Photos from the Facebook page of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine / Photos from the Facebook page of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.

The Russian troops shelled the outskirts of Mykolaiv, the local Prosecutor's Office have initiated criminal proceedings on 28 July / Photos by the Mykolaiv Regional Prosecutor's Office.

Reading of the Order of the Court on the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (Ukraine v. Russian Federation), on 16 March, 2022 / Photos from the official website of The International Court of Justice (ICJ) - here and here.

In Mariupol city, occupied by Russian troops, the local girl came to the square in front of the destroyed house wearing a T-shirt with an inscription “Ukraine” / Photos from the City Council channel in Telegram.

This publication was prepared under the “Ukraine Voices Project" implemented with the financial support of the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO).

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