Updated: Oct 21, 2022
#Civilians pay the highest price for #war. For that reason, the international humanitarian law prescribes certain state behaviours that are meant to safeguard civilians’ life by mitigating the impact of belligerencies. These include not targeting civilians and non-military, avoiding unnecessary suffering, and providing humane treatment to prisoners of war.
The usage of aggressive military means has been a constant characteristic of the Russian Federation’s foreign policy. The Russian army has committed horrendous #warcrimes, causing unquantifiable civilian losses despite #Russia being a party to the 1949 #GenevaConvention, instrumental in defining war crimes.
Yeltsin’s Russia attacked #Chechnya in 1994-1996 and in 1999-2001 and used Chechen separatism as justification for the aggression. Human rights organizations have claimed that around 40,000 Chechens were killed, while Human Rights Watch reported that 500,000 were displaced.
In 2008, Russia also initiated a war against #Georgia to support the separatist claims of the Russia-backed republics of #Abkhazia and #SouthOssetia. 228 civilians were killed during the five days of conflict, while 1,747 were wounded.
The following are the most common violations perpetrated by Russia, constituting war crimes and crimes against humanity due to their massive, systematic and generalised character.
- Destruction of town and villages unjustified by military necessity
- Summary executions and murders, physical abuse and torture
- Intentionally caused harm to people not directly involved in hostilities
- Deliberate attacks on the civilians, including hospitals and schools
- Arbitrary arrest and detention of civilians
- Looting of private property
As it is known, Russia is currently conducting an unjustified #invasion of #Ukraine, which, if not stopped, will continue the trend of unnecessary civillian casualties and result in even more concerning human rights violations in the near future.