Citing “irrefutable evidence” obtained by the Russian Investigative Committee, Russian authorities have launched a criminal case against Ukraine for its use of prohibited means and methods of warfare.
“We have witness testimony provided by Ukrainian refugees and intend to file a motion that the witnesses be recognized as the injured parties in this case,” stated a representative from Trunov, Aviar and Partners law firm, Igor Trunov.
“I appealed to the Investigation Committee with the application and the answer came to me that the case is initiated,” said Trunov.
The Russian firm is alleging that Ukraine used prohibited means and methods of warfare in Donetsk and Luhansk. The law in question is Article 356 of the Russian Criminal Code, which deals with prohibition in warfare.
“The case was initiated by the crime under Part 1 of Article 356 of the Criminal Code upon application by unidentified servicemen of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, armed members of the National Guard of Ukraine and militants of the right sector and regards prohibited means and methods of war in the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics,” said Trunov.
Russian authorities are basing the case on Ukraine’s alleged use of phosphorous bombs in its campaign against the pro-Russian separatist movement in eastern Ukraine.
“During an inquiry into the alleged use of prohibited means and weapons of war, the Main Investigative Department of the Russian Investigative Committee discovered irrefutable evidence of prohibited weapons being used against civilians,” said the official spokesman of the Investigative Committee, Vladimir Markin, last month when the report was completed.
The Investigative Committee found that, based on chemical analysis of soil samples taken from areas where eyewitnesses reported shelling from Ukraine, there was evidence of combustion byproducts of H-17 incendiary liquid commonly used in the production of landmines and air bombs.
“People in the affected areas will suffer horribly and will often die an awful death. If not, they experience severe psychological trauma,” said Markin.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have repeatedly accused Ukraine of using phosphorous bombs.
Additionally, Trunov is alleging that Ukraine used weapons against its civilian population and civil objects in violation of the Geneva Convention. Trunov based these claims on a commission formed by the Russia Red Cross to investigate for instances of war crimes in Ukraine.
Trunov stated that these crimes must be investigate by the International Criminal Court (ICC)
State Duma lawmaker Roman Khudyakov has asked the Investigative Committee to provide its evidence for the case.
Trunov said that in the near future he intends to ask the UN Security Council and to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at The Hague to address the case.
By Justin Blakely Munce