Inside Ukraine’s Push to Try Putin for War Crimes


As tensions between Russia and Ukraine continue to simmer, the Ukrainian government is pushing for a bold move: trying Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes. This controversial strategy has generated heated debate both domestically and internationally. In this blog post, we delve into the legal basis of Ukraine’s case against Putin, explore its potential impact on the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, and examine why some are skeptical about its chances of success. Join us as we go inside Ukraine’s push to try Putin for war crimes.

The conflict in Ukraine and Russia’s involvement

The conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing for over five years, with no end in sight. Russia’s involvement in the conflict has been a major source of contention, with both sides accusing the other of violating international law.
Ukraine alleges that Russia has supplied weapons and troops to the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine, while Russia denies these claims. However, there is evidence that Russian soldiers have fought alongside the separatists, and that Russia has provided military support to the rebels.
In 2015, a UN-commissioned report found that Russia had violated international law by arming and supplying the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine. The report also found that Russian soldiers had fought alongside the rebels.
In 2016, another UN report concluded that Russia was responsible for war crimes in Syria, including the bombing of civilians targets and hospitals. This report led to calls for Putin to be tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
However, Russia is not a signatory of the ICC, so any trial would be unlikely to take place. Moreover, even if Putin were tried and convicted, he would likely never face justice as he enjoys immunity from prosecution as the President of Russia.

The case against Putin for war crimes

Since 2014, Ukraine has been fighting a war against Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country. During that time, there have been multiple allegations of human rights abuses and war crimes committed by both sides.
In September 2015, a report by the International Criminal Court (ICC) found that there was sufficient evidence to believe that Russian president Vladimir Putin and other senior officials were complicit in war crimes committed in Ukraine. The ICC said that it would not be pursuing charges at this time, but left open the possibility for future prosecutions.
Ukraine has continued to gather evidence of war crimes allegedly committed by Russia and its allies, and has now formally asked the ICC to open an investigation into the matter. If the ICC decides to pursue charges, Putin could become the first sitting head of state to be indicted for war crimes.

The obstacles to trying Putin in an international court

The obstacles to trying Putin in an international court are numerous and varied. First and foremost among them is the Russian president’s powerful position both domestically and internationally. Putin has deftly managed to evade accountability for his actions in Ukraine, using his country’s veto power in the UN Security Council to prevent any real action from being taken against him. Additionally, Putin has worked hard to cultivate a image as a strong leader who is not afraid to stand up to the West, which makes it politically difficult for Western leaders to take strong action against him.
Furthermore, there is no clear legal basis upon which to try Putin in an international court. While his actions in Ukraine may constitute war crimes under international law, there is no mechanism by which an individual can be tried for such crimes without the consent of their own government. And given that Russia continues to deny that any wrongdoing took place in Ukraine, it is highly unlikely that they would ever allow Putin to stand trial on these charges.
Finally, even if some way could be found to bring Putin before an international court, it is far from certain that he would receive a fair trial. Given the current political climate, it is likely that any trial would be deeply politicized, with both sides using it as an opportunity to score points against the other rather than seeking justice. In such an environment, it is highly unlikely that Putin would receive a fair hearing, let alone a just verdict.

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What a trial could mean for Putin and for Russia

A trial could mean a lot for Putin and for Russia. It could bring to light new information about his involvement in the war in Ukraine and his potential war crimes. It could also lead to more sanctions against Russia and Putin himself.


Ukraine’s push to try Putin for war crimes has made great strides in recent years. With the help of international organizations, they have been able to bring more attention and support to their cause and put a spotlight on Russia’s abuses of power in Ukraine. It remains to be seen whether or not this effort will succeed, but it is an important reminder that justice must prevail even against those with seemingly unchecked power.

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