The EU's initiative to establish a special tribunal for the war crimes committed in Ukraine, which will cooperate with the International Criminal Court, has been presented by Russian propaganda as an attempt to hide Brussels' involvement in the commission of these crimes. In reality, the EU has not committed any crime on the territory of Ukraine, but it has supported Kyiv's defensive efforts in the face of Russia’s aggression.
NEWS: The European Union is trying to hide its involvement in war crimes on the territory of Ukraine by initiating the creation of a special tribunal, the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergey Vershinin, told RIA Novosti.
Moscow, according to the diplomat, is not surprised by the talks of the anti-Russian delegations at the UN, including the EU states, regarding the creation of “an international tribunal” against Russia.
“These Russophobic states are willing to violate the UN Charter, especially the articles that prohibit involvement in the internal affairs of world states. The EU, which participates with billions of dollars in funding for the provision of armaments to Ukraine, is trying to hide its own involvement in the war crimes committed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, the diplomat said.
This “absurd initiative”, Vershinin stressed, will have no legal consequences and will become “a legal nonsense”. "The creation of this tribunal, or more correctly, this pseudo-tribunal, without the participation of our state and its agreement is legal nonsense, and its rulings, if they exist, will never be recognized”, he said.
NARRATIVE: The EU is hiding its involvement in the crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine by setting up a special tribunal.
WHY THE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: In late November, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the EU would set up a special court to try Russia’s crimes in Ukraine. “While continuing to support the International Criminal Court, we are proposing to set up a specialized court, backed by the United Nations, to investigate and prosecute Russia’s crime of aggression”, Von der Leyen said. For now, there is no definitive decision to create such a court; discussions are still taking place at EU level.
The EU's idea of a tribunal for crimes in Ukraine does not violate the UN Charter. Beyond the fact that such a tribunal would be supported by the UN member states to assist the International Criminal Court during investigations, the UN Charter does not prohibit the establishment of tribunals. In the case of collaboration with UN bodies, the decisions of such tribunals produce international legal effects. Military aggression against a sovereign state is, on the other hand, prohibited and severely condemned.
Such an aggression was launched by Russia in 2014 and turned into of a full-scale invasion on February 24, 2022. Russia is bombing Ukrainian towns, and has destroyed numerous civilian targets, including residential buildings, schools, power plants, etc. The crimes are documented by journalists and independent investigators. Some evidence (satellite images, drone footage) unequivocally proves that Russian soldiers have committed war crimes in the Kyiv, Kherson or Kharkiv region. Ukraine has asked the International Criminal Court and international organizations to send investigators as soon as possible to gather evidence of war crimes. The casualties in Ukraine are caused by the Russian invasion, not by the Ukrainian leadership's decision to organize a state defense and request the help of EU states.
Kyiv is supported by a number of EU states that want to help Ukrainian investigators. For example, after the international community found out about the massacre in Bucha, the French government decided to provide international judicial and police assistance to establish and collect evidence of war crimes committed in Ukraine by Russia, and the Russian media immediately distributed a propaganda narrative about the French gendarmes who would cover up the traces of Ukraine’s crimes in Bucha.
The MFA in Moscow, through the Russian state media and various Telegram channels, distributed - without presenting any evidence - a false narrative about the involvement of the EU in the commission of these crimes, not directly, but through the Armed Forces of Ukraine, supported by the West.
Moreover, in order to exculpate Russia, the pro-Kremlin press has also written that the Ukrainian military are neo-Nazis and are committing war crimes against civilians in eastern and southern Ukraine with the help of weapons received from Western states.
Veridica has debunked a series of false narratives launched to exonerate Russia and blame Ukraine or the West for war crimes. In April, the Russian press wrote that American experts believe that the news about the atrocities committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine are just Russian propaganda made-up . The propaganda narratives according to which the UN has admitted that Ukrainian troops are bombing schools or use them for military purposes and Zelensky announces the organization of a genocide against the Russian-speaking population in Kharkiv and Donbas also been debunked.