Tue. Oct 4th, 2022

Kyiv, 5 September 2022

Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak notes that today, during the war with Russia, Ukrainians are fighting for their own freedom, and they also seek justice, which envisages, in particular, punishing those who came with weapons and violence to take away this freedom. He said this while speaking online at the Russian War Crimes exhibition in Brussels.

“Without justice, without this punishment for the aggressor, the world will not be free. Fear will prevail in it. And this fear will make evil stronger. Therefore, the world needs justice,” Andriy Yermak emphasized.

The Head of the Office of the President told about the scale of Russian war crimes in Ukraine. Since February 24, Ukrainian law enforcement officers have already recorded more than 45,000 crimes related to Russia’s aggression, more than 31,000 of them are war crimes. And this is only the data that is already known.

According to him, there is still no final information on how many thousands of residents of the city of Mariupol died from Russian shells, bombs and missiles, how many died from lack of medicine and food due to the blockade, how many were tortured to death or simply executed. In addition, after the liberation of each new Ukrainian city or village, new tragedies may open up to the world.

Separately, Andriy Yermak drew attention to the evil caused by Russian war criminals to children. At the hands of the occupiers, 380 of our children died and more than 700 were injured. 284 educational institutions were completely destroyed by Russian shelling, and 2461 were damaged.

The Head of the President’s Office emphasized that all war crimes have specific perpetrators – those who gave and carried out criminal orders. But the main culprits are those who started this war. He is convinced that the fact of the largest armed aggression in Europe since 1945 must receive a fair assessment from the world, as it was during the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials after the end of World War II.

Andriy Yermak is convinced that the responsibility for the Russian Federation must be twofold: at the level of the state and at the level of an individual citizen. It is also important to ensure the personal responsibility of the leadership of Russia for the most serious initial crime – the crime of aggression.

“It is often called the supreme international crime. This is a crime that accumulated evil of the whole,” he explained.

The Head of the President’s Office reminded that Ukraine initiated and has been working for almost six months on the establishment of a special international tribunal for all the top leaders of the Russian Federation for military aggression against our state.

“Proving the fact of the crime of aggression against Ukraine will be the basis for a sentence. This is either life imprisonment or significant terms of imprisonment. And the actual execution of the sentence will take place as soon as one of the defendants appears on the territory of the country that joined the treaty on the creation of a special international tribunal. There are three ways to do this: an international agreement between Ukraine and other states, an agreement with the UN or an agreement with the EU or the Council of Europe,” he said.

Andriy Yermak emphasized that at the same time, Ukraine actively cooperates with the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and the creation of a special international tribunal on the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine will only complement the work of this court.

For her part, President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola said that the brutality of the war in Ukraine exceeds all possible limits.

“Ukrainians are suffering for the sake of freedom of the entire Europe. Therefore, Europe will help you to the last. And we, like you, demand that Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko be brought to justice. Because autocracy is not something we in Europe can return to. Therefore, we will do everything possible to stop it,” said the President of the European Parliament.

Source – President of Ukraine