Head of the President’s Office Andriy Yermak emphasizes that it is the special international tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, the creation of which our state is calling for, that will make it possible to restore justice and punish all those guilty of the terrible crimes caused by the largest war in Europe since World War II.
He stated this during an online speech at the conference “Possible Scenarios for the Prosecution of Russia for the Crime of Aggression”, which takes place in Paris with the participation of members of the working group on the creation of a special international tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.
Andriy Yermak noted that, according to official data of the Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine, during Russia’s full-scale war against our country, more than 47,900 war crimes were committed and more than 8,400 civilians died, including 440 children. 46,000 houses and tens of thousands of civil infrastructure objects were destroyed. Among other things, 1,400 institutions for children were destroyed. 11,400 young Ukrainians were forcibly taken out of the country.
“The atrocities we are facing are shocking. When our law enforcement agencies conducted an exhumation in Izyum, they found a minor girl who was first raped and then brutally killed. They found a boy whose genitals were cut off before execution. We discover such terrible things every time we liberate a new settlement,” said the Head of the Office of the President.
Andriy Yermak emphasized that behind all crimes there is one biggest crime – the so-called mother crime of aggression, without the investigation of which and the punishment of the guilty the truth will never be achieved.
“There is no doubt that Russia bears full responsibility for what was committed. Russian soldiers and their commanders who committed war crimes will be brought to justice. However, this is not enough. Russian officials must be brought to criminal responsibility for the crime of aggression,” he is convinced.
For his part, Deputy Head of the Office of the President Andriy Smyrnov said that after analyzing all available international mechanisms, it became clear that there was a high risk that no one would be prosecuted for the crime of aggression unless a special international tribunal was created, which would only investigate the crime of aggression against of Ukraine.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which investigates the crimes of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, does not have sufficient jurisdictional powers.
“During the eight months of the war in Ukraine, not a single proceeding related to the crime of aggression was registered at the ICC due to objective reasons,” he noted.
For the purposes of the special international tribunal, the system of punishments used in the International Criminal Court may be used. The punishment for the crime of aggression against Ukraine, after it has been proven, may include imprisonment for a term of up to 30 years or life imprisonment.
As noted by Andriy Yermak, a special international tribunal can be created by signing an agreement between states willing to join it or based on Ukraine’s agreement with an international organization.
The Head of the President’s Office reminded that the creation of a special international tribunal was supported by the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assemblies of the Council of Europe, the OSCE and NATO, the parliaments of Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, but in the end, the decision of a significant number of countries that would like to join the creation of such a tribunal is needed.
“This is an issue for the whole world. If we do not follow these principles, are we prepared for the fact that one day some dictator will announce his territorial claims to some country? Are we ready for new hybrid wars waged by rulers detached from reality? Will you agree to international blackmail and terror, to the truth distorted by propaganda? Are you ready to accept the death of tens of thousands of innocent people, including many women and children? If not, support the creation of our tribunal! Everyone to the extent that depends on you,” Andriy Yermak urged.