Evidence of Russian War Crimes Mount as Conflict Escalates


Andrew Phillips, News Editor

In the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the question of whether Russian troops committed war crimes often becomes a contested topic.  The use of mass violence against civilians and non-combatants has been banned under the Geneva Convention, yet finding official proof that either supports or refutes the claims of war crimes is nearly impossible in these high-tension areas.  Most of these allegations come from Ukraine against Russia, but one must understand the bias that exists in the media.  As Russia is the aggressor in this conflict, practically every media source is going to report on crimes committed only by Russia, as it’s the popular stance.  Russia has reportedly engaged in mass summary execution, rape, and looting in the Ukrainian regions of Kharkiv, Kyiv, and Chernihiv. All of the aforementioned acts are explicitly prohibited by the Geneva Convention, constituting them as war crimes.  Furthermore, in the basement of a school in Yahidne, hundreds of Ukrainian civilians and children were used as human shields.  This led to the deaths of dozens, and another article of the Geneva Convention that was blatantly violated during the invasion of Ukraine as evidence supporting Russian war crimes mounts up.  

These accusations haven’t gone unnoticed, as the president of Russia was quick to deny any wrongdoing following atrocities committed in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, saying,   “Russia was faced with provocation in Bucha, something the Russian side had nothing to do with. Russian forces had no connections to Bucha. We know who did it” (EFE).  Vladimir has kept up a narrative that Ukraine and other countries allied with them are staging elaborate hoaxes in order to turn public opinion against Russia, another example of unsubstantiated claims told to combat evidence-backed accusations.  President Biden recently spoke up, calling for a trial of Vladimir Putin to take place, saying “This guy [Putin] is brutal and what’s happening in Bucha is outrageous and everyone’s seen it.”  If this conflict continues to escalate, it’s only a matter of time before other countries get involved.  

The war has been relatively small-scale, as the conflict hasn’t involved any NATO aligned nations.  If and when that changes, it could very well expand into something the likes of which have never been seen before. It’s completely possible that Putin will push his luck and overstep the boundaries of neighboring countries, thrusting the world into warfare.  The Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been at the forefront of the fighting, and has been an inspiration to many of his people.  This war that Russia started has not only resulted in the deaths of thousands, but the lionization of Zelenskyy and the vilification of Putin.