Putin accused of committing “war crime” by PM Boris Johnson

LONDON (Parliament Politics Magazine) – PM Johnson accused Russian President Putin of committing “a war crime” during a Prime Minister’s Question Time session that was preceded by a standing ovation for Ukraine’s ambassador.

The PM criticised Mr Putin’s “abhorrent” attack on his neighbour country as the Russian invasion in Ukraine began its seventh day.

What the world has already seen from Vladimir Putin’s administration – in terms of the use of weapons that they have already been dropping on innocent civilians – in his opinion clearly counts as a war crime, Mr Johnson told the House of Commons.

He said he was aware that the ICC [International Criminal Court] prosecutor was already looking into it, and he was confident that the entire House would support it.

Later, the Foreign Office revealed that the UK, together with 37 other allies, has referred Russia to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate “war crimes in Ukraine.” The ICC has received the biggest number of referrals in its history.

Because the countries have joined together, the ICC prosecutor will not need to seek judicial authorisation before beginning the inquiry.

Mr Johnson described Russia’s invasion as “barbaric,” adding that all 38 countries clearly understand that Putin cannot carry out these heinous activities with impunity.

Putin’s ‘abhorrent assault’ is condemned by the Prime Minister.

The Ministry of Defence said in an intelligence update on Wednesday morning that airstrikes and heavy Russian artillery had continued to target built-up areas in the previous 24 hours.

According to Ukraine’s state emergency agency, over 2,000 civilians have been killed in a week of fighting with Russia, though Sky News has not independently verified this figure.

There are also unconfirmed reports that Russia is employing thermobaric weapons and cluster munitions, both of which are universally prohibited.

Mr Putin’s activities will become “harder, tougher, and more indiscriminate,” according to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who previously told Sky News that his invasion attempt is “considerably” behind schedule.

Boris Johnson told MPs that he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Wednesday morning and that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “gravely miscalculated” in the “abhorrent assault on a sovereign nation.”

He has miscalculated the amazing endurance of the Ukrainian people, as well as the solidarity and will of the free world in standing up to his savagery, Prime Minister said at the House of Commons.

Later, Downing Street stated that probable war crimes in Ukraine were happening “almost hourly.”

When asked about Mr Johnson’s comments during PMQs, the PM’s official spokesman replied that formally it would be for a criminal court to make that judgement, but he believed no one could be in any doubt that what they were seeing daily, almost hourly now, were horrendous acts that would clearly appear to be war crimes.

Members of Parliament rise to applaud Ukraine’s ambassador.

The whole Commons chamber rose to applaud Vadym Prystaiko, the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, as he sat in the gallery to witness proceedings at the start of Wednesday’s PMQs.

Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaking to Mr Prystaiko after MPs had finished their applause, joked that MPs “usually do not allow applauding in the chamber.”

However, he believed that on this occasion, the House had a right to show their respect and support for his country and its people at this most challenging moment, Sir Lindsay continued.

The UK will ‘continue to tighten the rope,’ says PM.

Mr Johnson declined to comment on specific cases, but pledged that the UK will “continue to tighten the noose around Putin’s regime” with sanctions and that a complete list of all those affiliated with the Russian president would be made public.

He emphasised the government’s “unprecedented measures” in reaction to Russia’s assault against Ukraine.

Kourtney Spak

Kourtney Spak is an american journalist and political commentator. Her journalism career focuses on American domestic policy and also foreign affairs. She also writes on environment, climate change and economy.