Government Watch / National Security / Opinion

Putin’s Acts are Criminal

Will Putin get prosecuted for war crimes? That he targeted and killed hundreds of civilians and displaced tens of millions seems clear. What will happen if prosecuted? History shows that whatever label one puts on this invasion, Putin owns it. Many of these acts are criminal.

While war invariably involves killing, wounding, displacements, and ruined lives, a war crime is different.  Aiming to eliminate an ethnic group, wipe out a nation, or take territory by targeting innocents is viewed as horrific and qualifies as a war crime.

Legally, a war crime involves a violation of the “laws of war,” a collection of treaties and conventions for protecting innocents, deterring cruelty, and holding criminally responsible those who promote or allow criminal brutality or genocide.

The so-called “laws of war,” which some might disparage, have a long history. Human recoil at civilian murders, torture, rape, gratuitous terrorizing, and dehumanizing led to these laws.

Customary international law, dating hundreds of years, was gradually codified, especially after WWI and WWII.  The Nuremberg principles, Geneva Conventions, and other authorities created expectations and “universal jurisdiction” over war criminals, refining the Hague Conventions.

Neither soldiers nor heads of state can avoid liability for intentional acts that violate the “rules of law,” but facts must be proved. Violations of the Geneva Conventions include “directing attacks against civilians.” The idea of preventing massacres is prominent.

If all this sounds like how Putin behaved in Ukraine, initiating an unprovoked attack, targeting civilians, indefensible acts, another fact is important: Heads of state are hard to prosecute.

On the one hand, heads of state charged include the German and Japanese prime ministers after WWII.  Similarly, for “crimes against humanity,” “genocide,” and other crimes, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic was charged, tried, acquitted, and died in custody in 2006.

Liberian President Charles Taylor, Bosnian Serb President Radovan Karadzic, Sudanese head of state Omar al-Bashir, and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were all charged. Taylor and Karadzic were convicted, al-Bashir remained incarcerated, and Gaddafi was killed before trial.

On the other hand, Putin presents unique issues. He is Russia’s leader, even if his actions are unconscionable. He is insulated by sovereignty arguments, may claim the death of non-combatants was not his aim, as collateral damage “while conducting an attack on a military objective” is not a war crime.

Strong responses would issue, but a military necessity “permits the destruction of life of…persons whose destruction is incidentally unavoidable by the armed conflicts of the war,” a big loophole.   

On the other hand, “laws of war” do “not permit the killing of innocent inhabitants for purposes of revenge or the satisfaction of a lust to kill,” “destruction of property” not necessary, or “directing attacks against civilians.” 

All this is highly unsatisfying since the egregious nature of Putin’s acts – human suffering, loss of life, the indifference of Putin toward what he has done – is a source of global outrage. Moreover, Putin continues the war – a highly destructive, inhumane, legally indefensible assault on citizens of Ukraine. The horrors continue as resistance builds and Western support grows.

Reality: Putin will never reclaim the legitimacy he had. He is now a de facto war criminal. Whether the acts were ordered by Putin, he bears responsibility – and odds are he ordered them.

The damage done to Russia’s standing in the world is not easily repaired, nor damage to the Russian economy and the lives of the Russian people resulting from his hellacious acts.

The beleaguered Russian people, predominantly Christian and predictably distressed, will suffer. They will suffer economically, spiritually, and in association with Putin. Perhaps 30,000 parents will suffer the loss of a child in uniform to Putin’s folly.

So, in the grand scheme, in the world’s eyes, and perhaps soon in the eyes of Russians, Putin’s war-making will be remembered as indefensible, inhumane, utterly unnecessary, and unconscionable. 

Whether the legal regime and machinery are set in motion to prosecute him for “war crimes” remains to be seen. What is clear is that Putin’s depravity, indifference to life, disrespect for history, the devastation of Christian culture, and unthinkable carnage are hard to deny. Whatever the law says, the world has seen the, shuddered, and spoken. Putin’s acts are criminal.  


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Roy
15 days ago

It’s been reported by the Ukrainian people that Ukraine forces have attacked their own people.

Richard Havarti
13 days ago
Reply to  Roy

I thought the app stores were unavailable in Russia. Roy proves otherwise.

Locke
15 days ago

Praying for justice…

Roy
15 days ago

So are the elites that wants Ukraine for money laundering , wake up!

Hal
15 days ago

When I think back to Hillary Clinton okaying allowing Russian to access the prime source of Uranium, it sends chills up my spine to think of DemocRats in control of any level of governance.

Bill on the Hill
16 days ago

Once again, a conservative based story getting on the same Biden/Harris band wagon but for presumably an entirely different reason where Russia/Ukraine are concerned…?
It is long overdue for the movie actor Zalensky to be held accountable for all of his backroom illicit deals.
He sold out his people long before now IMHO…
Potentially we are on the brink of another world war with crooked actors around the globe itching to go after Putin, why is this folks?
Make no mistake, with the current administration in DC hellbent on REIMAGING America, a WIDE OPEN southern border at (16 ) months & counting…
CRT being taught all across this nation in real time…
Doctors being fired for speaking out against the vaccines.
Mandatory masks & vaccines by these hypocrites, i.e. Biden/Harris, CDC & the NIH, not forgetting our politicized DOJ, all the way to SCOTUS…
I don’t believe Putin is the monster he’s being made out to be, especially for a man with an 83% approval rating by his own people…Does America have a president with those job approval numbers? I think not RBC…
Currently this administration is stroking the mad dog…They got their ” Wag The Dog ” situation with respect to Russia/Ukraine whilst America remains WIDE OPEN at her southern border with illegal immigrants from around the globe pouring in, an administration that is actively welcoming them with open arms, giving them cell phones for updates, debit cards to feed their families, bussing & flying them to their DESIRED destinations around this nation…We The People are paying for this!
Putin’s acts are criminal?
The Biden/Harris 2020 fraudulent presidential installation was criminal by both domestic & foreign players involved in Election Interference, it was criminal for the entire/majority of our established form of government to allow the 2020 Presidential Election outcome to be compromised in such an egregious manner, so with respect to the title of this article, the real CRIMINAL ACTS committed are much closer to home, a good starting point would be the current residents of the White House…
Anything that comes out of this WH, assume the exact opposite, that will lead you closer to the truth.
I mostly ignore the MSM/WH narrative on Russia/Ukraine, same goes for the many nations getting suckered into lose, lose situations by primarily the Biden administration with help from MSM & Big Tech…
Bill… :~)

Walter
17 days ago

Make no mistake, Putin is a war criminal. Why we haven’t put the Drone cross hairs on him already is beyond me. I guess with the compromised Biden in office, nothing will get down. Putin should be put down now before he kills more innocent people.

Roy
15 days ago
Reply to  Walter

You think elites don’t want Ukraine? They do. And they instigated Putin to go after Ukraine Probably one of the most corrupt countries in the world for a reason. Congress keeps sending ridiculous amounts of money over there for a reason too. You don’t really believe they care about the Ukrainian people do you? Look what they did in Afghanistan they left those people totally defenseless and couldn’t have cared less along with billions of dollars in American equipment. Wake up!

jmpw
17 days ago

Zelensky ….sucks

WILLIAM SHILLINGFORD
17 days ago

Biden ineffectiveness is the reason Putin is going crazy . Under Trump as President he was VERY QUIET because he knew he would have hell to pay under TRUMP if he was to get aggressive..He knew Biden and his appointees were VERY WEAK and would not act so he invaded..This is what you get when electing Democrats and a Senile old man into White House who in turn puts useless,weak men,woman,and others into key positions and get nothing done or make things worse..We are living in downfall of the United States of America

Stevie
17 days ago

Crazy? Of course, you know that, for a fact?

Hal
17 days ago
Reply to  Stevie

Maybe a summation of facts leads to an accurate assessment on WS’s post. It is not crazy to express one’s concern about the future being potentially alarming. Stevie, you have to be the one that is a bit close to crazy????

Denise
17 days ago

Sorry, Zelensky is much more dangerous than Putin. NATO has broken their agreements with Russia. Our assets nor do we belong in the war that Biden is trying to start WWIII.

Bub
17 days ago
Reply to  Denise

Exactly. Zelensky’s calling in favors, trading in his 40 year old Soviet made stockpile, for free American made weaponry.

Roy
15 days ago
Reply to  Bub

Money laundering

Abby
17 days ago
Reply to  Denise

The fellow who wrote this article, his elevator doesn’t quite go all the way to the top.

Roy
15 days ago
Reply to  Denise

Agree, Ukraine is for money laundering and P knows it. It’s for the elites…what a set up . Can’t believe people are so naïve as to believe that this government cares about Ukrainian people at all, look what they did in Afghanistan leaving those people totally defenseless and leaving billions of dollars of US equipment behind for the enemy.

Mary
17 days ago

Biden is also to blame. He was in on stealing the 2020 election.

Hal
17 days ago
Reply to  Mary

Biden’s political history is laden wtih stealing., everything from plagiarism to downright theft and much in between. The Delunaware gift to the Nation is becoming more hazardous with the passage of time. Biden has been a near perfect example of how bad things can get when rigged elections are successful.

Abigail
18 days ago

So are the acts of our highest government officials at the moment. Let’s deal with them, too.

joe mchugh
18 days ago

Putins acts are NOT criminal. Criminal behavior can be determined and dealt with in a court of law.
There is no court that can force a country’s leader to be “nice”.

The only thing that can be done about dictators such as Putin is to confront them with military force.
To describe Putin, or any other dictator as being a criminal is to misunderstand reality. The ruthlessness of dictators could be described as being crimes against humanity, but again, so what?
There is no court that is able to address such acts.

Peggy
17 days ago
Reply to  joe mchugh

Stupidity of the Biden Administration, one foreign policy blunder right after another, flailing war crimes accusations underlines lack of intelligence, opening the door wide opened for blow-back, criticism concerning Ukraine’s war crimes; America’s war crimes. And, it only serves to strengthen Russia’s resolve, against America. Which is what Biden wants, a never ending proxy war, another Vietnam.

joe mchugh
17 days ago
Reply to  Peggy

Peggy, maybe Biden’s puppeteers are not all that stupid. I can cite at least two reasons that spending America’s treasure, if not blood, benefits some. 1) Most of the proposed money goes directly to the American corporations that manufacture war equipment, and associated materials.
2) The spending of borrowed money further weakens the United States through inflation.

The Democrat Party agenda seems to be an effort to make the public so disenchanted with democracy that Karl Marx’s socialism would seem to be a viable alternative.
After all, the ten tenets of Marxism already sound very attractive to the people who earn less than middle class wages. It wouldn’t take much more abuse by the government in power to turn enough people into a solid voting majority, a majority that would be willing to experiment with full-blown socialism.

War crimes? Anyone can complain about war crimes. However, only a victorious society is able to bring such charges against the survivors of the losing side. The war crimes committed by the winners? What war crimes?

As for Joe Biden, he simply serves the Democrat elite as being a figurehead. Biden catches all of the ire of the people, while the liberal deep state continues to transform America into something akin to the old U.S.S.R.

CoNMTX
18 days ago

Isn’t this what the left wants Americans to do? Focus on external problems like Putin? We need to focus on America’s internal problems like a mentally incompetent president and speaker of the house. A satanically evil vice-president, and a congress where half are Marxists and the other half sits on their hands and does nothing about any of it. We don’t need any outside help to destroy ourselves.

Yvonne
18 days ago

Pot calling the kettle black. The last 70 years, United States defense-intelligence tallied up a sorry laundry list of its war crimes well beyond that which the Russians demerit. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, face facts, we’re worse than they are.

Jeffery
18 days ago
Reply to  Yvonne

President Trump had it right. The focus here in American needs to be, on America. Not Russia, much less the Ukraine

joe mchugh
18 days ago
Reply to  Yvonne

Yvonne, you seem to be politically naive. What purpose does it serve to describe this country, or that country as acting like a criminal? Criminals can be tried in court and punished accordingly. An aggressor nation can only be dealt with by military force, presumably a force that is stronger than the dictator’s military machine.

America acting in criminal ways? The axis powers could have made that charge about America in WWII but they failed to win the right to do so. It was the prosecutors of the Allies who decided what charges to bring against the Axis survivors. You know, might makes right. Losing a war has certain consequences.

Yvonne, you seem to be living in a fantasy world where some nations act like a saints, and other nations act like criminals. I’m almost certain that world leaders are human beings who are subject to human error. At best, wars only determine which country gets to subjugate another. Worse, military conflicts that result in truces, or cease fire, only give the combatants more time to rebuild to restart hostilities again, example: Germany in 1918.

After the third war with Carthage, Rome destroyed the entire infrustructure of Carthage, made slaves of the survivors, and then salted the farm fields to prevent a fourth war. It worked, Carthage ceased to be, and never posed a threat to Rome again. I’m pretty sure that the Carthage slaves didn’t bother to describe the Romans as being criminals in the aftermath. The Romans didn’t suffer dissident behavior of slaves.

Total war would be somewhat harsh. The factories of the victor nation would have to build tens of thousands of bulldosers to bury the losers in thousands of mass graves. But like the actions of the Romans, those dead would never offer a threat again. I would prefer civil negotiations but dictators seem to always desire instant gratification.

Tim Syrell
18 days ago
Reply to  joe mchugh

Well, Professor Pomposity, I would suggest you RETRACT your insults. Clearly, you have NO clue about THE HISTORY OF CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY COMMITTED BY THE SATANIC FORCES OF EVIL THAT HAVE CONTROLLED AMERICA – IN EVERY ASPECT – SINCE THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK. These same dark forces have ruled Planet Earth for milennia.

Good news, though! Soon you WILL LEARN THE TRUTH – as will THE ENTIRE WORLD – and when you do, should your head not explode, you might change your tune as to how you address those of us who BELIEVE PUTIN IS HELPING THE GLOBAL ALLIANCE DESTROY THE DEEP, CURRENTLY HEADQUARTERED IN UKRAINE, A/K/A, KHAZARIA.

joe mchugh
17 days ago
Reply to  Tim Syrell

Tim Syrell, please excuse my lack of clarity in suggesting that regarding the acts of dictators as something that the courts can correct is a fruitless effort. The courts are the proper venue for addressing criminal behavior. The acts of a despot can only be countered by military force. Only by successfully using military force can one consider the option of trying individuals in a court of law afterward.

The leaders of Germany and Japan, up to and during WWII, were clearly perpetrating crimes against humanity. Unfortunately there was no court jurisdiction that could bring these governments to justice. There is still no such court that can prosecute Russia’s Putin as long as he is in power.

Tim, why are you arguing against my position that dictators can only be stopped with military force? To castigate the leader of an aggressive country as being a criminal might assuage one’s sense of outrage, but it falls somewhat short in actually rectifying the ongoing belligerent behavior.

By the way, Tim, your “caps lock” key seems to be sticking occasionally. You might want to get a new keyboard.

DMM
18 days ago

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is good men do nothing.

Casey C Matt
18 days ago

Looks like Mr.Charles, writing for AMAC is a mental victim of the deep state. He mentions “Putins” egregious acts, ignoring both the fact of Putin being only a portion of Russia governance but also not even thinking of a little document called “The Minsk Agreement”. He speaks of ethnic cleansing when it was the violation of the Minsk Agreement that led to 13-15000 deaths at the hands of Ukraine in attacks on the population of the eastern provinces of Ukraine who had voted for independence from the corruptocracy that is Ukraine. Recall also that an elected leader of one of the eastern provinces called on the Russian government for assistance when Ukraine launched a large scale attack against his people back in late January/early February. Putin came in after a year of trying to get the “west” to take action, ringed Kiev which diverted the Ukraine military away from the east. The east is now about to fall to Russia of course along with the best of the Ukraine military…..all uniquely trained by US/NATO special forces.
Mr. Charles has jumped on the narratives red meat wagon and is going for the full ride. I wonder how he will title his post Russian victory article? Will he jump to whatever the deep state narrative changes to or will he……..forget it, he will jump on whatever the new deep state narrative is once again. What a disgrace from an organization I used to hold in esteem. AMAC is now nothing more than a Nuland mouthpiece.

Millie
18 days ago
Reply to  Casey C Matt

I think he’s been watching a little too much Rachel Maddow.

Jos
16 days ago
Reply to  Casey C Matt

You are exactly correct. The Russian armed forces have acted with honor, carefully doing all they can to avoid civilian casualties— a task made virtually impossible since Ukrainian Nazi units have been abusing Russian-speaking citizens for years, and using them as human shields. The Dombass (Lugansk and Donetsk) and Crimea (which has a long history of being part of Russia) all held referenda that established their independence from Ukraine. Since the US (CIA and Victoria Nuland’s crowd) engineered the 2014 Maidan massacre (100 dead) and coup, replacing a duly elected, pro-Russia president with a pro-US puppet, Nazi units of the Ukrainian armed forces have been shelling the Dombass to the tune of some 14,000 dead.

The atrocities that the corporate media have reported as being committed by Russia have all been shown to have been committed by Ukrainian troops — the maternity hospital, the train station, Bucha, all proven to be Ukrainian operations. I have seen close to 60 (a fraction of the total) testimonials of people who have escaped Mariupol and other combat areas, praising Russian troops profusely, while condemning Ukrainian Nazis for years of persecution and for horrific abuses during these current operations. While some of these could be propaganda, the sheer number of testimonies collected by multiple reporters support their authenticity and truth. The ONLY humanitarian aid being delivered to the Ukrainian populace is coming from Russia — and in great quantity. Why are we sending only weaponry that will only increase civilian casualties and prolong the inevitable— why are we not sending humanitarian aid? Why are we not encouraging a negotiated settlement? More to the point, why are we involved at all?

Zelensky is a comedic actor, whose inner circle also comes from the entertainment industry, is a drug addict under the dual control of Nazis and the US. Take off the pompoms and do a little research into Mr Zelensky— there is nothing to admire in the man. And we should have only disgust for the Nazis who are pulling Zelensy’s strings.

The Biden administration is doing all it can, at most, to start WWIII and, at least, to sustain the profits of the defense contractors for as long as possible — Ukraine is the new Afghanistan, and will cost US taxpayers multiple trillions that we cannot afford and do not have. Which means more “quantitative easing” and more inflation. In many ways, we are responsible for the mess in Ukraine — we participated in training the Nazi units (Azov and Aidan, maybe more), we established the biolabs, we encouraged the expansion of NATO, and we (the CIA) engineered the 2014 coup. Our hands are dirty, and I wonder how much of the warmongering is to destroy the evidence of our malfeasance and criminal behavior, over and above the money to be gained through matériel sales and money laundering. Russia’s concerns for its own security are valid—the Bear was provoked.

The weapons we are sending (and not tracking) are coming largely from our own military stores. Every Stinger we send to Ukraine costs $120,000, and CANNOT be replaced. The parts needed are no longer available (Stingers have not been manufactured for some 20 years) — to replace what has been / will be sent, defense contractors will have to redesign the weapon, which will take at least 1-2 years. And that is just one weapon.

This must stop. Let Europe and NATO deal with this border conflict. Read Putin’s statements on the goals of this incursion — de-militarization and de-nazification of Ukraine along with a permanent neutral (non-NATO) status; independence for the republics of the Dombass; recognition of Crimea’s independence. He has never shown any interest in annexing Ukraine, only releasing eastern republics from Ukrainian bombardment and stopping NATO’s expansion. The US should remove itself from this conflict and we must stop supporting Zelensky’s Ukraine uncritically. While Putin is no angel, his concerns in this instance are justified. Perhaps a better path could have been found, but we should at least understand his position.

Apologies for the overly long post, but I am fed up with the sophomoric nonsense that glorifies Ukraine and vilifies Russia that gets us nowhere. This is not a black and white situation and it serves us I’ll to treat it as such. We must broaden the conversation, and insert some common sense.

Pierre
18 days ago

I wonder if this is one of those web sites defense-intelligence uses to smoke out conservatives?

Billy-Bart
18 days ago
Reply to  Pierre

I’ve noticed, every article written here is complimentary of defense-intelligence, nothing critical of the FBI.

Spud
18 days ago
Reply to  Pierre

Hmmm. They do that. Don’t they? Early 60s, they used Lee Oswald to pass out fliers, to smoke out pro-Castro sympathizers in New Orleans. I wonder if we’re being set-up?

jake the snake
18 days ago

of course they are criminal but biden isn’t goign o do anything. He likes all the Ukrainians being murdered because is distracts americans from the disaster Biden and the democrats are.

After the last two years of the democrats dictatorships, illegal acts, illegal mandates, lies and corruption anyone still thinking about voting democrat is a fool.

Paul Barrese
18 days ago

it is the winner of the war who decides what a war crime is!

Gonzo
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul Barrese

Nooop. We lost Vietnam. We lost Iraq. We lost Afghanistan. We lost the morale high ground. We committed war crimes. Everyone knows it.

anna hubert
18 days ago
Reply to  Gonzo

we lost because we were not allowed to win you forgot Korea funny how some crimes such as communist are OK and some as fascist are condemned I gues all crimes are nor equal as we see in our own justice system where criminals are let free

Gunny Mark
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul Barrese

Testing LSD, on its own troops? The smell of Napalm, in the morning? Waterboarding? Abu Ghraib? The Bush administration authorized spent uranium shells, in Iraq?

Dougie
18 days ago
Reply to  Paul Barrese

Never forget, TWA, flight 800.

Samuel
18 days ago

… by a significant margin, Joe Biden goes down in history, as the drop-dead stupidest president in U.S. history. Joe Biden wanted a proxy war with Russia, because he thought it would make him popular. Thousand die because, Biden wants to be popular. Triggered by the Biden administration, threatening NATO inclusion to bait Putin into war with Ukraine, while simultaneously cutting off America’s domestic oil production, Biden’s handlers put Germany in an awful predicament, allowing Russia to dictate terms, to the EU. Putin now enjoys sufficient leverage to fracture, destabilize the European Union. And, NATO.

Alfred
18 days ago
Reply to  Samuel

A miserable failure on U.S. foreign, U.S. domestic policy, and U.S. trade policy, dundering straight into WWIII, triggering a wordlwide recession, the Joe Biden people are the most macro-economically illiterate administration ever to occupy America’s White House. Moral of the story: uou can’t solve stupid.

Josie
18 days ago
Reply to  Samuel

Biden wants a Vietnam. The Ukraine is Joe Biden’s Vietnam. America’s young men, coming home in body bags, it’s only a mere matter of time.

Fran
18 days ago
Reply to  Samuel

I think the fellow who authored this article gets his news from CNN. Everyone knows, the guy behind the curtain, responsible for fueling this war is Joe Biden. Not Vladimir Putin.

Landrew
18 days ago
Reply to  Samuel

Put a stupid guy in the White House? Stupid is what you’re going to get.

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