The Kremlin’s boss and his camarilla can be delivered to stand trial before international justice.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued international warrants for the arrest of Russian President Putin, as well as Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova-Belova.
Alexander Khara, a Ukrainian diplomat and political scientist, an expert at the Maidan of Foreign Affairs Foundation, gave an interview to Charter97.org and told how Putin’s stupidity made it possible to bring the the Kremlin’s boss to justice and whether he would be extradited by the Russian elites.
– The importance of this decision can be defined in two dimensions: in relation to Ukraine and in relation to the world. For Ukraine, this is the first such important legal step when the crimes of the Russian Federation and the top leadership are recognized. Accordingly, there is hope that the organizers of these crimes, not just the perpetrators, but the organizers themselves, can be brought to justice and punished.
From a global perspective, neither a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, nor nuclear weapons, nor a large army discourages international institutions from calling a spade a spade. Even if justice is not done, I mean that Putin does not stand trial and does not go to jail, his image and the images of all those who support him will remain spoiled until the very end. This is a signal to other totalitarian leaders in the world that they will not be protected by head-of-state immunity from liability for crimes they have committed or going to commit.
– Do you think it's likely that such a warrant will be issued for the arrest of Lukashenka?
– There are grounds. Lukashenka is an accomplice in this aggressive war, and this is a crime even from the point of view of Belarusian, Russian and Ukrainian legislation. I'm not sure about that kind of condemnation in terms of what he did to the Belarusian people because we're talking about war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. These are the worst crimes.
The fact that Lukashenka actually usurped power, imprisoned and killed opposition leaders and ordinary citizens who opposed him, is also a crime. However, this is not a matter of international humanitarian law and war crimes. Therefore, they can issue such a warrant against him as an accomplice in the aggression against Ukraine.
But on the other hand, no matter how badly we treat Lukashenka, he was cautious when talking publicly unlike Putin. One of the reasons why it became possible to bring Putin and the so-called commissioner to justice is that they spoke publicly about their crimes, they were not afraid.
You must have seen a Ukrainian soldier who said ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ was shot. In the Russian mind, it is totally normal to kill a prisoner of war, bomb Mariupol, take out children from there, and then distribute these children for adoption to the Russians, despite the fact that some of these children have relatives. In their minds, this is totally ok, so they openly talked about it.
If we are talking about Lukashenka, then no matter what a bastard he is, he does not say such things. It will be quite difficult to prove his intent in a lawsuit. If there was access to secret documents, conversations, and so on, then this could become evidence. In the case of Lukashenka, his nonsense could hardly be interpreted in legal terms. And Putin was so stupid. It seemed to him that this was a good winning theme, that he supposedly saves children after he destroyed a city of half a million. I hope that Lukashenka will also be held accountable, at least for aggression, if not for other crimes.
– Is it likely that Russian elites will extradite Putin to The Hague as part of a deal with the West?
– It is possible. It could happen like in the Yugoslav or Serbian cases. However, it is rather difficult to predict, because we do not understand how powerful this regime is, how many vital resources Putin has, and how long he will live. We know that it's a common Russian feature to have dramatic changes just after calm periods. In theory, the next person who comes to power in the Russian Federation will have to distance himself from a losing war, from crimes and try to get out of the sanctions, save his own personal capital. Dozens of the richest people in Russia have lost access to their criminally obtained wealth. Therefore, there is an option when Putin and other organizers of aggression will be extradited to international justice. Accordingly, in return, they may receive some concessions in the form of lifting sanctions or something like that. Theoretically, this is possible, but so far it has not been seen.
We see that most Russians, like the Germans in Nazi Germany, support their Fuhrer of the Russian world. They are not going to take to the streets, let alone protest against the war, they are not even able to protect their husbands and sons, who are seized and thrown into a meat grinder. Especially the last couple of months.
There is a video on the Web when those whom we call "chmobics" [mobilized Russian troops - Ed.] are speaking to representatives of some unclear authorities, that they are not equipped, not prepared, and they are immediately thrown to the frontline. If mothers and wives do not take to the streets to protect their children, it is very difficult to imagine that they will defend some kind of justice and so on. Therefore, I do not yet see such an option, of course, there is one theoretical one: Putin and his camarilla can be extradited to international justice.