UN Urges Investigation of War Crimes in Ukraine

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The war criminals in Ukraine must know that they cannot escape punishment, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk has said. At the same time, he does not think it is realistic to bring Putin to justice. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk called for the prosecution of crimes committed during Russia’s war against Ukraine. “Criminals must know that they cannot get away with it,” Türk warned in Geneva in an interview with epd published Wednesday, Dec. 28. According to his estimates, at this stage, the impression is that most will manage to get away with it. If they cannot be prosecuted in Ukraine or Russia, then UN member states will have to decide on an international tribunal, says the high commissioner. Individual countries could also initiate prosecution procedures, Volker Türk said. As an example, he cited the case in which the highest state court in Koblenz sentenced a Syrian man, Eyad A., to four and a half years in prison for aiding and abetting crimes against humanity on Feb. 24, 2021. “History teaches us that the mills of justice grind,” noted Volker Türk, paraphrasing the winged expression “Sero molunt deorum molae” – “mills of God grinding slowly”.