“Human shield” against Russian troops

That’s the difference” – in theory it would pose as a war crime

By Ralph T. Niemeyer
More and more disturbing news comes from the conflict zone in Ukraine. Massive bombings, civilian casualties and much more plunges a normal person into horror from what is happening.

The Russian military operation in Ukraine has already resulted in the deaths of thousands of soldiers of the armed forces of Ukraine and Russia. But if the soldiers die doing their duty, then what is the fault of the women and children who have become hostages in this war?

Almost the entire world community is blaming Russia and President Putin for what is happening now in Ukraine, introducing yet another package of economic sanctions that could lead to a global financial crisis.

Russian troops seek to conduct a military operation in Ukraine, avoiding civilian casualties. But, unfortunately, this does not always work out. In the first days of the conflict, Russian planes and drones disabled all Ukrainian aviation, military airfields and air defense systems. After that, battles began for large Ukrainian cities, such as Mariupol, Kharkov, Odessa and Kyiv.

According to incoming information, the Russian military has surrounded large cities and is ready to start storming them, but they are not doing this because the Russian side has begun negotiations with representatives of Ukraine regarding the civilians in Mariupol, Kharkov, Odessa and Kyiv.

The Ukrainian military, without prior evacuation of civilians, equips their firing positions in residential buildings, schools, hospitals and other social facilities where civilians are located. Many Ukrainians who moved to Europe at various times say that their relatives and friends who are now in these cities cannot leave them because the Ukrainian military and nationalists have limited the possibility of leaving.

This is done in order to use the civilian population as a “human shield” from Russian missiles. That is why Russia initiated negotiations on the organization of humanitarian corridors for the evacuation of civilians, but, unfortunately, without result.

The actions of Ukrainian nationalists are a gross violation of international humanitarian law. For example, one of the articles of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court of July 17, 1998 defines a «war crime», among other things, as “Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations”

On March 7, Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Vereshchuk Iryna said at a regular briefing that the humanitarian corridors proposed by the Russian side are unacceptable. The Ukrainian politician said that Ukrainian residents would not go to Belarus or Russia. This position is grossly contrary to the norms of morality and ethics, as well as the norms of international humanitarian law.

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