The invasion of Ukraine by Russia took place in early 2022. It was claimed due to NATO’s
advance into Eastern Europe and geopolitical issues between the two countries involved.
With the possibility of Ukraine’s joining NATO, Russia believed that this could mean a further
rapprochement with the West and the loss of its influence in the country, which even has
Russian as one of its official languages. Russia has expressed concerns that if Ukraine were to
join NATO, it would receive the alliance's military protection and other benefits, which could
be perceived as a threat to Russian security.
Today, as some of the consequences of the war that has lasted almost a year, there is a
considerable immigration of Ukrainians, hundreds of dead and wounded, and several
economic sanctions against Russia.
The reason for the war that started in 2022 was the Ukrainian approach and interest in
becoming a member of NATO. Ukraine was getting more intellectual independence and losing
its Russian grip.
As in all wars, there are countless consequences, and civilians usually suffer. Currently, a large
number of Ukrainians are leaving the country as refugees. Hundreds of people are dead,
injured, or missing because of air strikes, ground confrontations, and the destruction of a
large part of Ukraine's cities, all generating an economic and humanitarian crisis that affects
several countries worldwide.
Regarding Russia, it has faced economic sanctions, including targeted measures against key
individuals in the country and its president. However, despite these efforts, it seems that they
have not been successful in deterring Russian aggression against Ukrainian territory. This
underscores the urgent need for additional actions to prevent these crimes and ensure that
those responsible are held accountable.
Ukraine currently claims several cases of abuse of the law by Russian soldiers, but Moscow
denies it, arguing it is a smear campaign. However, the UN Human Rights Council has
acknowledged that war crimes were committed in Ukraine, including rape, torture, and
confinement of children in Kyiv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, and Sumy. Evidence was also found of
many executions, including bodies with their hands tied, throats slit, and headshots. Victims
of sexual violence ranged in age from 4 to 82. Russia was even called to clarify during a UN
session on September 23, 2022, but its seat was empty.
There is a possibility that these investigations initiated by the UN council could be used during
national and international courts, which has happened before in the case of a former Syrian
intelligence officer arrested for state-supported torture in Germany. Regarding that, the
International Criminal Court is expected to submit a full report to the UN council in March
2023, including recommendations on how to hold the Russians accountable for what
In addition to the UN, reports from Amnesty International and the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe have already pointed out numerous cases of different war crimes. More than 23,000 cases are being investigated by several countries, resulting in 45 nations
coming together to collect evidence and identify who is responsible.
We currently know from news regarding accountability that 21-year-old Sergeant Vadim
Shishimarin was accused of shooting a civilian dead in Ukraine in the early days of the
conflict. He was tried on May 23, 2022, and pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison,
but the sentence was reduced to 15 years after the appeal.
Russian soldiers Alexander Bobikin and Alexander Ivanov were accused of bombing two
locations in the Kharkiv region with missile launchers. Both were sentenced to 11 and a half
years in prison.
Besides these, Mikhail Romanov was the first person to be formally charged with committing
rape during the invasion of Ukraine. According to the primary British newspapers, he has not
yet been tried, but at least 13 sex crimes committed by Russian forces in the Kyiv region have
been identified. Vasili Litvinenko has been accused of ordering his subordinates to shoot at
unarmed civilians and burn buildings. The Wagner group has also been accused of
involvement in crimes committed on Ukrainian territory.
The Bucha Massacre occurred when Russian Armed Forces killed many Ukrainian civilians and
prisoners of war while battling for and occupying the Ukrainian city of Bucha during the
Russian invasion of Ukraine. With the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from the town on April
1, 2022, photographic and video proof of the slaughter surfaced.
Karim Khan, the head prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC), traveled to Bucha,
a city in Ukraine close to the capital Kyiv. "Ukraine is a crime scene," Khan told reporters in
Bucha. We're here because we feel crimes are being committed that fall under the purview of
the ICC. To discover the truth, we must cut through the fog of battle.