Seeking justice in Ukraine: A year’s worth of efforts to ensure that core international crimes do not go unpunished

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Series Details PE 739.369
Publication Date February 2023
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With its war of aggression against Ukraine, launched in early 2022, Russia has violated the country's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within internationally recognised borders. This war has inflicted heavy casualties, destruction and displacement within Ukraine and beyond. While intense ongoing hostilities make it difficult to collect comprehensive information about certain areas in Ukraine, this is arguably the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. There are incessant reports of airstrikes and shelling in several regions. Moreover, humanitarian conditions keep deteriorating, not least because of wide-scale disruptions to electricity, water and gas supplies and multiple human rights abuses and violations of international law.

Videos, photos and testimonies bearing witness to alleged core international crimes, such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes have been collected since day one of the war. Ukrainian civil society, non-governmental organisations, investigators from all over the world present on Ukrainian territory, members of the international community and the media have all contributed to this effort. The volume of documented acts that may constitute breaches of international humanitarian law is unprecedented. This briefing sums up a year's worth of efforts by the international community, in particular the EU and its Member States, to ensure that core international crimes committed in Ukraine do not go unpunished and that those responsible are brought to justice. It is not exhaustive; but offers a chronological account of key steps taken between 24 February 2022 and 18 February 2023.

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