Ukraine-Russia conflict: War crimes of the last century – Reuters News in France and abroad

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The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into possible war crimes after Russian President Vladimir Putin approved a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24, a grim reminder of the number of war crimes committed over the past century.

The UN says that war crimes Homework occur during an armed conflict, and examples may include murder, cruel treatment and torture, hostage-taking, intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population, etc.

An expert previously told Fox News Digital that the ICC will investigate potential war crimes committed by individuals.

“With regard to the situation in Ukraine, the ICC prosecutor can investigate allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of genocide,” said Dustin Lewis, director of research at the program of the Harvard Law School on International Law and Armed Conflict.


Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the Kremlin in Moscow on February 14, 2022.
((Photo by Alexei Nikolsky/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images))

“The ICC is only empowered to exercise its jurisdiction over natural persons. In other words, it can only sue individual human beings. The ICC has no jurisdiction over entities that these human beings may be affiliated with, such as a government or military,” he added.

Here is an overview of some war crimes of the last century:

Armenian Genocide

According to BBC.

Before beginning mass deportations, the Young Turk regime hanged hundreds of Armenians on the streets of Istanbul, according to Yale University.

The International Association of Genocide Scholars estimates the death toll to be “over one million”, but this number is disputed. Armenians say the death toll is 1.5 million, while the Republic of Turkey says it is 300,000.

Several senior Ottoman officials were tried in connection with the genocide. For example, Mehmed Kemal, a local governor, was convicted at trial and hanged for his involvement in the massacre of Armenians, according to the report.

While Turkey does not deny the staggering number of Armenian deaths, its government claims that “Armenian deaths do not constitute genocide”, according to Radio Free Europe.


People lay flowers at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex on Tsitsernakaberd Hill on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, which commemorates to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
(Photo by Hayk BaghdasaryanTASS via Getty Images)

German war crimes during World War II

While many war crimes were committed during World War II, the most heinous was the Holocaust, when the German Nazi regime killed six million European Jews.

Nazi leader Adolf Hitler viewed Jews as an inferior race that posed a threat to German racial purity and enacted laws targeting Jews, excluding them from German society, according to the United States Holocaust Museum.

In September 1941, anyone designated as Jewish in Nazi Germany had to wear a yellow star, making them a target, according to

Between 1941 and 1945, during World War II, Nazi Germany started the Holocaust death camps, where six million Jews were killed. According to United States Holocaust Museum.

The Holocaust didn’t end until May 1945, when the Allied powers began to invade concentration camps and then free those who had survived, according to the museum.

Algerian War

The Algerian National Liberation Front fought against France between 1954 and 1962 in the Algerian War, and historians estimate that around 250,000 to 300,000 Algerians died during the war, the University of North Carolina said.

In 1954, the National Liberation Front launched a number of armed revolts across the country and demanded that the nation be declared independent, and France sent troops to the country to monitor the situation, according to Atlantic.

In August 1945, the National Liberation Front targeted civilians and incited a mob that killed more than 120 people, according to the report. In response, French troops and “vigilance committees” killed between 1,200 and 12,000 Muslims.

After years of fighting and hundreds of thousands of civilians killed, the French declared a ceasefire and the Algerian people voted to become independent from France in 1962.

A French officer, Paul Aussaresses, admitted to having tortured and killed Algerian prisoners of war, according to the BBC. A French court convicted Aussaresses for advocating the use of torture in 2002.

The post-war amnesty prevented Aussaresses and others from being tried for war crimes, according to the BBC.

Russo-Georgian War

The Russo-Georgian War began on August 8, 2008, when Russian forces entered Georgia and began the first war in Europe of the 21st century, according to the Atlantic Council.

During the conflict, which lasted five days, several hundred civilians and soldiers died, according to the Brookings Institutebut the fighting displaced between 100,000 and 200,000 people.

The International Criminal Court opened an investigation into war crimes committed during the war, but faced several challenges.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in January 2021 that Russia was responsible for several human rights violations during the war, including the killing of Georgian civilians, as well as the looting and burning of homes, according to Guardian.


A view of the Babyn (Babi) Yar Holocaust Memorial Center in Kiev on March 2, 2022.

A view of the Babyn (Babi) Yar Holocaust Memorial Center in Kiev on March 2, 2022.
(Photo by Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP Via Getty Images)

Wars between Russia and Chechnya

After adopting a constitution declaring Chechnya independent in 1992, Russian troops entered the country in 1994 with the aim of overthrowing the independence movement, according to the BBC. The war, which lasted 20 months, killed a maximum of 100,000 people. It lasted from 1994 to 1996.

The second war between Russia and Chechnya began in the summer of 1999, when Chechen fighters clashed with Russian troops on the border between Chechnya and Dagestan, according to the BBC. During this summer, Chechen rebels fought in Dagestan in an attempt to create an Islamic state. The second war lasted from 1999 to 2000, with Russia declaring direct control over the country.

Human Rights Watch alleged that Russian forces committed “serious abuses,” including war crimes, during the war.

During a hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Peter Bouckaert, researcher at Human Rights Watchpresented evidence of war crimes.

Bouckaert said Russian forces conducted a “carpet bombing campaign”, which resulted in the “vast majority” of civilian deaths during the war.

“Russian forces used powerful surface-to-surface rockets on numerous occasions, causing hundreds of deaths in the Grozny central market bombing and in many small towns and villages,” Bouckaert said.

He added that Russian forces had turned much of Chechnya into a “wasteland”.

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Ukraine-Russia conflict: War crimes of the last century – Reuters News in France and abroad