ICC ‘may start investigation’ into Putin’s campaign to wreck Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure

18 December 2022, 02:44 PM
Putin could be investigated for crimes against humanity in Ukraine (Photo:Thibault Camus / Pool via REUTERS)

Putin could be investigated for crimes against humanity in Ukraine (Photo:Thibault Camus / Pool via REUTERS)

The International Criminal Court (ICC) may begin investigating Russian dictator Vladimir Putin for crimes against humanity due to his military’s targeted destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure, Germany’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann has said.

Bavarian news portal BR24 reported on Dec. 18 that in his interview with Redaktions Netzwerk Deutschland on Dec. 17, Buschmann said one indicator of Putin’s direct responsibility could be a recent television appearance in which the Russian dictator declares that the destruction of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine is a desirable tactic.

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Meanwhile, Buschmann added that this issue had to be within the competence of the International Criminal Court, as the German prosecutor general cannot investigate the actions of the Russian president.

Russia started a campaign in October to destroy Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, with the aim of denying Ukrainians power, water and heating supplies during the winter months.

Several mass Russian missile attacks have since struck Ukraine. The government in Kyiv says about half of the country’s energy grid has been damaged, and widespread power, water and heating outages have affected millions of Ukrainians.

At a recent ceremony to award Russian servicemen medals, Putin said the Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure are being carried out as revenge for the Ukrainian attack on the Crimean bridge – a structure Russia built illegally from mainland Russia to Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Crimea.

In fact, the Kremlin hopes that its attacks will cause the Ukrainian population to put pressure on their government to agree a ceasefire with the Russians.

The Kremlin desperately needs a ceasefire in order to rebuild its military, which has been badly mauled by 10 months of fighting in Ukraine.

The Oct. 8 attack on the Crimean bridge, thought to have been carried out by Ukraine, but not officially acknowledged as such by Kyiv, caused damage to the railway portion of the bridge and collapsed a section of one of its roadways.

Four people have thought to have been killed in the attack. The bridge is a prestige project of the Russian dictator, who has used it for propaganda purposes to underline his false claim to have annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. Only a handful of rogue and pariah states have recognized the Kremlin’s claimed annexation.

Russia invaded and started its military occupation of Ukraine’s Crimea at the beginning of the war, in the first months of 2014.

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