Russia, which considers itself the legal successor of the USSR and the country-winner of Nazism, by committing aggression against Ukraine today is likened to Hitler’s Nazi Germany. Moscow has adopted the bloodiest practices of Nazism, in particular the brutal treatment of prisoners of war, the torture and murder of civilians and the forced deportation of Ukrainians, including children, to Russia.
It has been a year since the brutal bombing by the Russian army of the Drama Theatre in Mariupol, where at least 600 civilians were killed, including children, who had sought refuge there from the constant shelling of their hometown. On that day, a Russian plane dropped two heavy-duty bombs on the Drama Theatre building. The Russians were not even deterred by the fact that there was a large sign saying “Children” on the square in front of the building. Transparency International’s research confirmed that the attack came from a Russian plane and called it a war crime, as there was no military target in or near the premises.
However, the destruction of the Mariupol drama theatre was not the only brutal war crime against the Ukrainian people, the Russian army carried out mass executions of civilians in Kyiv, Kharkiv and Kherson regions. There were cases of sexual violence against civilians, including children.
For example, according to Reuters, one such case is the rape of a four-year-old child and his mother by Russian soldiers of the 15th Independent Motorized Rifle Brigade in the Brovary district of Kyiv Region last March. To date, 11 criminal cases are already being investigated where the victims are girls aged between 4 and 17. These are not only rape, but also various forms of sexual violence. In half of the recorded cases, the children’s mothers were also affected.
A year has passed since Russia’s full-scale war against Ukraine, and the Russian army continues to conduct mass shelling of Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, forcibly deport Ukrainian children to Russia and use banned weapons, including phosphorus and cluster munitions.
In the last month alone, the Russians forcibly removed 3,000 children from the occupied territories, bringing the total to 16,000. The Russian army has carried out 15 large-scale attacks on Ukraine’s critical and civilian infrastructure over the past five months, firing more than 800 cruise missiles. Prohibited weapons continue to be used. For example, Russian troops used phosphorus weapons near Chasovyi Yar in Donbas.
Russia must answer for its war crimes against the Ukrainian people. For this purpose, the international community should organise a special tribunal to try Russian war criminals.