(This article discusses topics and has imagery that might be uncomfortable for some viewers, if your uncomfortable with the discussion of mature topics then it's advised for you not to read this article) On the first day of April, Ukranian forces retook large portions of northern Ukraine as Russian forces relocated to areas away from Kyiv. What they found in the newly liberated towns was nothing more than pure horror. In the town of Bucha which is located right outside Kyiv, civilians were found killed and burnt. They were found shot in the streets, in their cars and most horrifyingly they were found tied up and shot in a basement of a summer camp. Not only did the Russians indiscriminately shoot at men of conscription age, but also women and children. Survivors who hid in their basement for days in fear of the Russians, only came out when the Ukrainians liberated the town. They tell stories on how the Russians used Ukranian children as human shields and women being raped before having their bodies burnt. What happened in Bucha is a clear violation of the Geneva convention and is clearly a war crime. But is this surprising? Reports of the Russians committing war crimes are found throughout their areas of occupation in Ukraine. Even in the early stages of the war, video clips of Russian forces firing and running over civilian vehicles was common. CCTV recordings of Russian troops looting and pillaging shops, houses and petrol stations also became common. Kharkiv and Mariupol have been under siege for weeks, with indiscriminate shelling on civilian infrastructure and the prevention of humanitarian aid from arriving to Mariupol. The war crimes committed by Russia are institutionalised, as its clearly not just one rogue unit. Putin’s casus-belli for his invasion was that Ukraine was under the leadership of “Nazis”, and they were there to liberate the Ukranian people. However, it is clear the Russian’s new goal is the complete destruction of the Ukranian state and identity. An op-ed for state news agency RIA Novosti titled "What Russia should do with Ukraine" by pundit Timofei Sergeitsev truly shoes the horrific rhetoric that the Russians believe in. It claims that a “significant part of the masses of the people, who are passive Nazis, are accomplices to Nazism”. As such, justifying the killings of Ukranians as killing Nazis. Even going as far to suggesting that the “liquidation” of Nazis must be enacted.
Because for Putin a Nazi is not an actual Nazi, since that would be himself and the mindless “Z” banner waving Russians, supporting the invasion. But women and children in Ukraine for identifying as Ukranian, not Russian. As Putin disregards not only international law and the conduct of war but the inevitable fact that Ukraine is a separate sovereign and independent nation.
Casus belli – Cause for war
Kremlin – Seat of power in the Russian Federation
Geneva convention – A set of international treaties establishing the humanitarian treatment of war
War crimes – Acts in violations of the laws of war
Genocide – The intentional destruction of a people
Nazi – stands for “National Socialist German Workers' Party”, which ruled Germany from 1933-1945
“Z”, - A symbol of support for the Russian invasion
Shelling – The act of bombarding an area with explosive projectiles
Liquidation – Killing someone violently, was a term used by the Nazi’s for their mass killings