Raab warns Russian leaders of war crime consequences
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Dominic Raab discussed the reports that banned missiles have been used against civilian targets in Ukraine including a school that has left several children dead. Mr Raab was grilled over what would happen to Russian commanders if they had committed these war crimes before sternly warning them the international community was already collecting evidence to hold those in power accountable. But when asked if he would like to see Putin in court, the Justice Secretary became coy and refused to take part in a “hypothetical”.
Speaking on LBC, Mr Raab was grilled by host Nick Ferrari over the reports that cluster bombs have been used in Kharkiv which left nine people dead – three of which are children.
Mr Raab said: “Good morning, Nick, well, I can’t confirm that.
“But I’ve seen the reports and in one sense as Putin’s catastrophic decision to invade Ukraine has played out and he has stumbled and stuttered with the initial steps.
“It has not been the cakewalk that he had said and that’s partly because of the huge courage shown by the Ukrainian forces in resisting and also, I think the actions that we’ve taken, sanctions-wise, will really pinch the Russian war machine that he is leading.
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“I think we can see him try now and regain the initiative and therefore we can expect more heavy-handed tactics.
“I think the one development that we can also see is that there is a clear determination from the international community to make sure that any war crimes are held to account.
“Whether it is Putin or those around him in Moscow or commanders on the ground and they must know they carry out those orders there is a reasonable prospect now that the evidence will be gathered.
“And that they will end up in the dock of a court and end up spending their twilight years behind bars.”
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Mr Ferrari wondered whether Mr Raab could see Putin in court following reports of war crimes
Mr Raab did not want to speculate about the situation but said there would be accountability if breaches were carried out.
Kyiv’s diplomat in Washington, Oksana Markarova also said the vacuum bomb was used during airstrikes.
The bomb, which is also known as a thermobaric weapon is banned under the Geneva convention and draws in oxygen from the atmosphere to create an even more devastating explosion.
Ms Markarova said: “They used the vacuum bomb today, which is actually prohibited by the Geneva convention.
“The devastation that Russia is trying to inflict on Ukraine is large.
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“But Ukrainians will resist, we are defending our home, we do not have any other option.
“We will not get tired, we will not stop, we will not surrender.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says the civilian attacks on Kharkiv amounted to war crimes.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is looking to launch its own investigation into the allegations.
President Zelensky is also calling for a no-fly zone over Ukraine but many Western powers are reluctant as their involvement in enforcing the zone may drag them into a war with Russia.
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