Russia, Ukraine and the Law of War: War Crimes

Scott Ritter, in the second and final part of this series, lays out what the law says about war crimes and how it applies to the conflict in Ukraine.

Biden’s speech in Warsaw. (Office of the President)

Read Part One: Russia, Ukraine and the Law of War: Crime of Aggression

By Scott Ritter
Special to Consortium News

During his recent four-day European tour, U.S. President Joe Biden made headlines when, during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, he described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “a man who I quite frankly think is a war criminal,” adding “I think it will meet the legal definition of that as well.”

Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, condemned Biden’s comment as “unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”

Biden made his remarks following a statement issued by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which Blinken announced that the State Department had made a formal assessment that the Russian military had committed war crimes in Ukraine. “Based on information currently available,” Blinken said, “the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. “Our assessment,” Blinken added, “is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources.”

According to Blinken, “Russia’s forces have destroyed apartment buildings, schools, hospitals, critical infrastructure, civilian vehicles, shopping centers, and ambulances, leaving thousands of innocent civilians killed or wounded. Many of the sites Russia’s forces have hit have been clearly identifiable as in-use by civilians.” Blinken declared that this category “includes the Mariupol maternity hospital” as well as “a strike that hit a Mariupol theater, clearly marked with the Russian word for ‘children’ — in huge letters visible from the sky.”

Blinken’s accusations echo those made by the Ukrainian government and organizations such as Amnesty International. Karim Khan, the lead prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, has announced that his office will begin investigating allegations of Russian war crimes committed during its ongoing military operation in Ukraine.

The narrative that paints Russia and the Russian military as perpetrators of war crimes, however, runs afoul of actual international humanitarian law and the laws of war. The issue of jus in bello (the law governing conduct during the use of force) set forth a framework of legal concepts which, when allied to specific actions, help determine whether an actual violation of the law of war has occurred.

Jus in bello is derived from treaties, agreements, and customary international law. Two sets of international agreements, the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907, and the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, serve as the foundation for the modern understanding of jus in bello, regulating, respectively, what is permissible in the execution of war, and the protections provided to non-combatants, including civilians and prisoners of war. “Grave breaches” of jus in bello can be prosecuted in courts of relevant jurisdiction as war crimes.

Starting from the proposition that war is little more than organized murder, the issue of how to define what constitutes murder sufficient to be categorized a being of a criminal nature is far more difficult that one might think. Michael Herr gave voice to this reality in his book, Dispatches, about America’s war in Vietnam, when he observed that, “Charging a man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.”

Distinction, Intention, Necessity

Israeli air and artillery attacks against apartment building, Beirut 2006. (Hamed Talebi/Mehr News Agency/Wikimedia Commons)

One of the key considerations that distinguishes a legitimate act of war, and a war crime, is the notion of “military necessity.” According to the precepts set forth in the law of war, military necessity “permits measures which are actually necessary to accomplish a legitimate military purpose and are not otherwise prohibited by international humanitarian law. In the case of an armed conflict the only legitimate military purpose is to weaken the military capacity of the other parties to the conflict.”

Working hand in glove with the concept of military necessity is the issue of “humanity”, namely that a military operation cannot inflict suffering, injury, or destruction that is not necessary to accomplish a legitimate military objective. While “humanity” is difficult to define (is there ever a humane way to take a human life during war?), it does relate to another principle of international humanitarian law, “proportionality.”

Proportionality in wartime has yet to be strictly codified, but in basic terms it revolves around “the idea that military means should be proportionate to their anticipated ends.”

In short, if there is an enemy sniper in a room on the third floor of an apartment building, proportionality would be met if the force necessary to eliminate the sniper in the room in question was used; if there were any civilians in the room at the time, this would not constitute a violation of the laws of war, as the civilians would unfortunately (and tragically) fall under the notion of “collateral damage.”

If, however, force is applied that results in the destruction of the entire apartment complex, killing scores if not hundreds of civilians, then a case could be made that the use of force was disproportionate to the expected military result, and as such constitutes a war crime.

The final principle of note is that of “distinction”, which holds that parties to an armed conflict must “at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” Distinction prohibits “indiscriminate attacks and the use of indiscriminate means and methods of warfare,” such as carpet bombing, or an artillery bombardment which lacked a specific military purpose.

From these basic precepts and principles, the international community has codified specific acts that constitute war crimes in the form of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, in particular Article 8 (War Crimes). Here we find enumerated various actions which give rise to most, if not all, of the accusations made by Biden and Blinken when leveling their accusations of war crimes at Putin and the Russian military:

  • Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;
  • Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives;
  • Intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units, or vehicles involved in a humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping mission in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, as long as they are entitled to the protection given to civilians or civilian objects under the international law of armed conflict; and
  • Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects.

The Elements

Extreme example of lack of proportionality with intent: The bombing of Nagasaki as seen from the town of Koyagi, about 13 km south, taken 15 minutes after the bomb exploded. In the foreground, life seemingly went on unaffected. (Hiromichi Matsuda/Wikimedia Commons)

Each of the crimes listed above consist of two elements, each of which must be proved as a matter of law, before the accusation of a war crime can be cognizable. These are the physical element, or actus reaus, namely the act itself, and the mental element, or mens rea, which constitutes specific intent, or dolus specialis, to commit the act in question.

Even if you can prove the physical element of an alleged crime, such as the bombing of a hospital or apartment complex, unless one can prove the actual intent behind the attack (i.e., not just directing attacks against a civilian population, but rather intentionally directing these attacks), no crime has been committed.

One of the main mitigating circumstances against most alleged war crimes is the principle of “military necessity.” Take, for example, the act of bombing a hospital. If a bomb strikes a hospital, one has established de facto actus reas. Now, let’s say there exists a written order from a commander to a pilot ordering the pilot to bomb the hospital in question—dolus specialis has now been established, and a war crime has been committed.

Not so fast.

While the law of war prohibits direct attacks against civilian targets, such as housing, schools, and hospitals, as the International Committee of the Red Cross makes clear, “a hospital or school may become a legitimate military target if it contributes to specific military operations of the enemy and if its destruction offers a definite military advantage for the attacking side,” or if it is “being used as a base from which to launch an attack, as a weapons depot, or to hide healthy soldiers/fighters.”

Herein lies the rub. “Increasingly,” a recent article published in The Washinton Post noted, Ukrainians are confronting an uncomfortable truth: The military’s understandable impulse to defend against Russian attacks could be putting civilians in the crosshairs. Virtually every neighborhood in most cities has become militarized, some more than others, making them potential targets for Russian forces trying to take out Ukrainian defenses.”

Moreover, “Ukraine’s strategy of placing heavy military equipment and other fortifications in civilian zones could weaken Western and Ukrainian efforts to hold Russia legally culpable for possible war crimes.”

Who is Guilty?

The bottom line is that if Russia has intelligence that Ukraine is using an otherwise protected civilian target for military purposes, and if a decision is made to attack the target using force deemed proportional to the threat, then no war crime has been committed.

Indeed, given what The Washington Post has documented, it appears that it is Ukraine, not Russia, which is committing war crimes. According to Richard Weir, a researcher in Human Rights Watch’s crisis and conflict division quoted in the Post article, the Ukrainian military has “a responsibility under international law” to either remove their forces and equipment from civilian areas, or to move the civilian population from the areas where military personnel and equipment are being stored.

“If they don’t do that,” Weir said, “that is a violation of the laws of war. Because what they are doing is they are putting civilians at risk. Because all that military equipment are legitimate targets.”

The bottom line is that while the Ukrainian government, American politicians, and human rights groups can make allegations of war crimes by Russia in Ukraine, proving these allegations is a much more difficult task.

Moreover, it appears that, upon closer examination, the accuser (at least when it comes to the Ukrainian government) might become the accused should any thorough investigation of the alleged events occur.

If the Ukrainian government contends that specific sites struck by Russia fall into a protected category, and that by attacking them Russia has committed a war crime, then it must be assumed that any undertaking by Ukraine to place military personnel and equipment in the vicinity of these targets constitutes “an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.”

That is the legal definition of a human shield, which is in and of itself a violation of the laws of war.

Scott Ritter is a former U.S. Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD.

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

37 comments for “Russia, Ukraine and the Law of War: War Crimes

  1. Mikael Andersson
    April 7, 2022 at 04:06

    Scott, very sorry to se that Twitter has censored you. We all understand what’s going on with western MSM machine. Please keep writing for Joe Lauria and CN. I value your work a great deal. Thanks to you and Joe both. Mikael

  2. Em
    April 4, 2022 at 13:55

    robert e williamson jr

    From ad hominem attack directly into blind and empty accusation. Nice!

    It’s okay, that what is remarkable to me, about Perkins, is not so to you, however, what you’re attempting to tell me is that I should have your views. Now, in this day and age, that is not at all remarkable!
    The “very valuable message” you seem to have received from Perkins is very different from the message I received. Anyone who first builds his fame and fortune on the destruction of infrastructure, and plunder of the resources of the nations of others; without regard for the lives of the ordinary people of those nations, is part of the problem and merits no gold star from me. I don’t care if he has written a hundred bestselling books, which, apparently, you feel, pardon and absolve him of his past conduct!

    Ever heard the expression ‘beyond the pale’? In this response to you, it applies to the Bushes and the Clintons and whomever else you feel I have omitted. As for “Grant Smith and his IRmep”, I’ve never heard of the person or his attributes. If that makes me less patriotic, in your eyes, it fills me with a certain pride. At least I’m not reckless in my argument!

    “Would (I) agree that Bill Barr might want * reconsider his choices in life? Or what about Trump? Probably not, right! WRONG!!!

    “And another thing”, as I see it, we human beings all have to be on the same side, if we know what’s good for humanity’s continued survival on this one planet, called mother Earth.

    Acceding to your turning this around; ”Which are the rules in the game of life, the exceptions or the rules”? Fortunately, the carnage the exceptions, such as Perkins, the Bushes, the Clintons, Barr, Trump, and all the other fawning acolytes, and organizations have caused; which you, so diligently named, have not yet been able to totally destroy the humanism in humanity, nor utterly destroy the planet we all inhabit; for better or worse.

    No, the bumper sticker I have on my forehead reads: “who dies overloaded with the unessential, nevertheless dies”!
    Through all the twists and turns of your individual psyche, I most definitely hear your “rage against the night”.

    • robert e williamson jr
      April 5, 2022 at 14:47

      The fact that you have never heard of Grant Smith of IRmep explains many things to me. You might want to check him out Remember this isn’t about Jews but the U.S. equal at being a totally corrupt government, the Israeli government.

      I’ve grown very frustrated with the condition of the planet and it’s inhabitants. It shows! So be it! At 73 I’m pretty damned fed up with what passes as intelligent humans these days.

      As for Perkins you are exactly right. Conversely I think he needs to be listened and I have a damned good reason why! The International Deep State which must include those who control the IMF etc., well, their plan is working.

      This man is the living breathing embodiment of a human weapons used by this country and the elites to institute maybe the most egregious plan of world domination ever conceived.

      I write often about PROMIS software and my feeling about how our government and their Ally the Israel government went about concealing this technology. It has became a very big problem. Obviously the US government never sees fit to criticize Israel. One reason is that the Israelis obviously have something they can use against our government, maybe blackmail for instance. I don’t know how else to explain the blank checks for billions that country continues to receive. Could it be they have very good records about transgressions our leadership is Guilty of. I’m simply not sure. But I digress.

      Do some checking on your own or not, regardless I am convinced that the INSLAW Affair was all about a software that would allow the tracking of banking transactions world wide by one entity or I guess, more correctly, in this case two entities. Both of whom wished to conceal this “SECRET”! Nothing new there. Years ago when Perkins was working for the government’s Wall Street he was implementing a plan and a dastardly one it was.

      I’m no expert on anything but I’m no fool either. What the US has done in the case of Russia the result of the weaponization of modern finance, access to money. The cat is out of the bag now if anyone cares to notice.

      I can visualize what wild happen if other countries decided not to go “all in” with the US on sanctions. Could it be that those countries would simply be removed from the world wide network now serving electronic banking. “Access Denied!” Has US has put itself in charge of a world monopoly on credit?

      What is so diabolical is the same weapon has been used by the US brutally and repeatedly against governments that present no threat to the US, currently, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and many south and Latin American countries. Why? As an example to every other country on the planet and the weakest and the poorest suffer disproportionately, especially the children and sick.

      I doubt seriously if the same technique will work when dealing with Chinese. I rather see the Chinese doing the very same thing to the US and when they do we will not be able to find any American billionaires standing up for this country.

      As for your return salvo, it think it’s great, you got pissed and told me how you really feel. That is a good thing.

      I wholly apologize for the brutalization of your sensibilities with my words as long as you think about what I have written here.

      If one wishes to make mayonaise, one must break a few eggs, if I’ve cracked your shell I see it as a positive! As for “rage against the night’, I do not read fiction, I don’t have the time. But rage I do and I have since May 3rd, 1970 when is separated from the Army. No Vietnam, I got really lucky, lucky enough I have raged about war since that day.

      Those who write here are trying to communicate to others we cannot lose this. You given me an opportunity to plainly state my feelings here today. Thank you.

      Em, the best to you and I honestly mean that. The young have inherited a mess of astron0mical proportions and I’m one old angry white guy who somehow feels guilty for this. I have known our country, hell the world for that matter, was headed in the wrong direction for decades. My frustration should be indicative of that.

      Thanks CN.

  3. mgr
    April 4, 2022 at 03:44

    If the standard of law is America (and NATO’s) behavior in the world since Vietnam to Kosovo to Iraq and more in between, then Russia’s actions in Ukraine are completely legal. After all, this is the practice of the “international rules based order.”

    As for the outrage, if the American public living in and owning the world’s leading icon of a people’s democracy and upholding the sanctity of the rule of law cannot hold their own leaders and country to account, then they certainly cannot hold any other leader or country to account. Please keep that hypocrisy to yourself.

  4. Peter Loeb
    April 3, 2022 at 15:27


    The roles of law do not seem helpful at all. More helpful is a profound analysis of the role of
    nationalism on both sides of the conflict in Ukraine. Some articles have hit this nail on
    the head in referring to the profound feelings of Russians in particular after Word War Two.
    The special place of nationalism in the US has been dealt with in the work of many historians
    and commentators. There is no time and place for detailing these works here.

  5. April 3, 2022 at 12:49

    American hypocrisy is so flagrant I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. They are desperately hoping that vicious and cheap propaganda will prevail but in the end it will not.

  6. JMF
    April 3, 2022 at 08:18

    Better late than never — and I find both Joe Lauria’s and Scott Ritter’s articles highly laudable — Jonathan Cook provides what might be considered a third view in the following:

    “Joe Biden Has Confirmed to Russia That the US Really Wants Regime Change”
    by Jonathan Cook

    “Biden’s comment – given the US record in Iraq, Libya and elsewhere – serves Putin’s claim that his Ukraine invasion was pre-emptive …”


    The above seemingly renders the question of legality somewhat moot, in the same sense that Caitlin Johnstone’s reiteration of David McBride’s observations do: What is not law for all is not legitimate law.

    Further to the point, I would contend that law and justice are often two different things. When Troy Davis was executed by the state of Georgia, despite evidence that contradicted his “guilty” verdict, it was fully in accordance with Georgia law. But *justice* certainly was not served by executing a potentially innocent man.

    Law is not necessarily justice. So I’ll content myself to consider Russia’s invasion of Ukraine justified, all things considered, whatever international law may dictate.

    Jack Rasmus has also chimed in lately, and pulls no punches:

    “US Imperialism’s Proxy War With Russia In Ukraine”

  7. Fran Macadam
    April 3, 2022 at 05:57

    Victor’s Justice is what determines who is punished.

  8. rosemerry
    April 3, 2022 at 05:06

    If NATO and the USA had even considered the decades-long demand for Russia to be treated with respect and its legitimate security demands (surely anyone can now see how valid Russia’s fear is/was) taken into account, none of this may have been necessary. For Russia, the NATO/West behaviour really is an existential issue, and the sanction madness of the last few months show that Russia is correct. The USA “administration” wants Russia destroyed, and the Eurolemmings and other puppets (5eyes) joined in. NATO is NOT worth destroying the world to hang on to a cold War relic.

  9. Ingrid
    April 2, 2022 at 20:26

    Dear Scott, (and cc. Joe),

    Word is, you were on fire in the Covert Action webinar last night. Only 100 people were allowed in the Zoom, so I hope there’s a recording, and maybe it will be posted here. Thanks for telling it like it is.

  10. Ian Stevenson
    April 2, 2022 at 15:19

    If fellow readers are wondering, this is how Novesti is reporting . Their website will translate.

    and the BBC reports hxxps://

  11. Sam F
    April 2, 2022 at 12:51

    An excellent article that should be widely read.

    When a mistaken or unavoidable attack upon civilians is by a victimized group, responding to a US/NATO actus reus (act establishing responsibility) involving a mens reus/rea guilty intent, the US/NATO are guilty of war crimes, not their chosen victimized group. The Russian defensive operation in Ukraine has clearly sought to avoid civilian casualties, at the expense of military casualties, so far shows none of the factors of Intent, Knowledge, Recklessness, or Negligence. and bears no resemblance to aggression with war crimes. But defensive necessities can be very regrettable.

  12. robert e williamson jr
    April 2, 2022 at 11:57

    Pretty typical behavior for the US government, using the ” law” to punish their enemies. No matter the COLLATERAL damage and fearing no reprisals, what could go wrong!

    The more I see the more I think John Perkins needs to be listened to.

    • Em
      April 3, 2022 at 12:27

      It’s quite remarkable how guys like Perkins, et al., first establish themselves in their careers before seeing the light of the others’ side.

      Which are the exceptions in the game of life, the rules, or the exceptions?

      Here’s a recent interview of Gerald Celente interviewing Scott Ritter wherein he too, candidly, acknowledges that he did the same thing, whereby Celente then acknowledges likewise.

      However, Scott Ritter comes across as having found his genuine way, much earlier in his life than did Perkins, and too many of the other blowhard self-promoters:


      • robert e williamson jr
        April 3, 2022 at 18:28

        No, what is quite remarkable is that you would condemn someone who seems to be trying to send you a very valuable message.

        Especially considering a group like the Bushies, who lied from start to end, are still lying and misrepresenting the facts of their own conduct.

        I think Mr. Ritter is one hell of a patriot and individual trying to serve the interest of others. And consider Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. These people are taking what could be life threatening stances on serious subjects.

        I suppose you would like wise condemn someone like Grant Smith and his IRmep? I see nothing of any contempt you may feel for the Clinton’s.

        Would you agree that Bill Barr might want reconsider his choices in life? Or what about Trump? Probably not, right!

        And another thing, as we loosely circle the matter of illustrious careers and all that evil money associated with them, what about all those “honorable” members from the military and pentagon who walk out the doors of official DC Government and walk across the hall to work for defense contractors or their law firms. All for the money and their continuing influence over politicians so addicted to the $ from the firms those retirees work for.

        Look you and I likely would never agree on things, maybe, maybe not. I continue to search for reasonable explanations for what I have witnessed so far in my life. Not BS, BS is lies, lies hide things that should not be hidden.

        Knowing what I know about the IMF, and how it works, the obvious theft of the PROMIS Software from the Hamilton’s, ‘who I remind tried to work within the boundaries of the Federal Government’s Contracting system only to be overwhelmed by the NSA and the insiders at CIA and DOJ, seems to me like you maybe should be bitching about specifics of the behavior of those professionals . Or is it you shy away from criticizing big government.

        The Unitary Executive Theory as it has been applied so far by NEOCONS is a system that all too gladly urges DOJ to lean more to the “right”, toward achieving authoritarian rule. It is their way or the highway. Not something I feel was ever intended by the Framers.

        Alas, you seem to be closer and closer to getting that authoritarian rule you most certainly deserve. The worlds bankers running everything and to hell with individual national sovereignty or the freedom of the citizens of those countries,

        Very telling that you choose to criticize Perkins considering my first two sentences.

        Let me turn this around. Which are the rules in the game of life, the exceptions or the rules. Criminy!

        I suppose you have one of those bumper stickers announcing proudly, “He who dies with the most toys wins”, i.e. “the game of life”.

        If you happen to think starving people to death is a game we have no common ground.

        Thanks CN

  13. D. Brand
    April 2, 2022 at 11:22

    By handing out weapons to civilians, by releasing criminals from prison for fighting the Russian army, by encouraging civilians to use self-made Molotov cocktails to face a modern army, the Ukrainian government is deliberately driving up the civilian death toll without in any way increasing its chances of winning the war.

  14. James Terry
    April 2, 2022 at 09:22

    War itself is, and always has been, an atrocity.

  15. Jane Clark
    April 2, 2022 at 08:13

    This is all fine and good, but the initial premise that Russia acted the Ukraine without provocation cannot be forgotten. Russia had no business even attacking the Ukraine. This article does not address that initial premise.

      April 2, 2022 at 15:03

      But this CN article does:


      It was not unprovoked.

      Ritter also addressed that question in part one of this two part series:


    • Mykola Kuzmenko
      April 2, 2022 at 23:05

      if you are ignorant of the issue why do you feel the need to even comment? When Israel preemptively attacked Arab states, no one questions its intent.

      “In response to the apparent mobilization of its Arab neighbours, early on the morning of June 5, Israel staged a sudden preemptive air assault that destroyed more than 90 percent Egypt’s air force on the tarmac. A similar air assault incapacitated the Syrian air force”

      Here, we have 8 years of the bombing of Donbass, and Ukrainian military is gathering about 100K troops and equipment ready to go on the offensive on Donbass, where Russia acting as a guarantor of the Minsk agreement. Russian intel got word that the offensive was planned for March. .
      So Russia did a preemptive offensive.
      BTW, Ukraine is a US colony since 2014, all this time it was prepared for a confrontation with Russia, sooner or later it was gonna happen. Instead of building a normal country they chose to radicalize it and flood it with weaponry.
      Now go ahead and try with a straight face to tell me that the US would have tolerated such a country next door. The radical “anti-US” regime that is a puppet of China or Russia, which openly talking about hosting foreign nukes next door…. Go ahead… And then lets see how Cuba doing over 50 years after trying something that resembles this

    • Fran Macadam
      April 3, 2022 at 05:59

      Coup in 2014? Let’s not pretend history started the day before yesterday.

  16. Bruce Patin
    April 2, 2022 at 07:26

    Scott’s article does not mention that sometimes the alleged crime is a false flag. This appears to have been the case in the theater bombing, in which 300 people did not die, and the explosion appears to have been planted, not a missile. Only a proper investigation can determine the truth.

  17. April 2, 2022 at 03:45

    lovely keep it up thanks for best

  18. Jeff Harrison
    April 2, 2022 at 00:56

    Thanx, Scott. As they say, the first thing to go in warfare is the truth. The Ukrainians learned their propaganda skills from the Nazis.

    • Manifold Destiny
      April 2, 2022 at 05:24

      And the Nazis learned it from…?

      If you haven’t seen it, watch the Adam Curtis documentary, “The Century of the Self”. It is widely available for free.

  19. James
    April 1, 2022 at 22:40

    Great summation of the actual laws. What are the chances that they would be applied impartially? Especially given unprosecuted actions by the US and its allies since forever or WWII whichever is the later.

  20. Anon
    April 1, 2022 at 22:16

    Tnx Scott, CN… Xlnt Piece(s)!
    1st: the metaphor: “Speedin tix @ Indy…
    Then the solve (@$ if realistic): New Body of Law DEFINING SPECIFIC ACTS!

  21. Greg Schofield
    April 1, 2022 at 18:47

    Elegant clarification another must read from Scott Ritter. The distinctions in law, which I have never read so clearly expressed and coherently gathered need wider distribution. If Consortium news could gather these two articles, and any that Scott may add to this series, into a pdf and epub format would help, I would cheerfully attach an epub and pdf rference to my emails to all and sundry, as part of my signature, and send it as an attachment to family and friends as an attachment.

    Knowlege shared is wisdom spread, and we need both in these times of ninfanile disorders.

  22. Douglas Baker
    April 1, 2022 at 18:30

    Truth first fatality in war. With Reinhart Gehlen’s ghost as spook inspired in Ukraine alive and well and Nazis in Ukraine and elsewhere in Soviet occupied Easter Europe that stayed as underground men finding direction and support from U.S. military establishing Gehlen Organization that in West Germany morphed in 1956, into Bundesnachrichtendient, with Gehlen as first president, these leavings have blossomed as Nazi foliage with tap roots in capitalist clandestine service with U.S. military and C.I.A. hands on the ground perhaps with “The U.S. Army * Marine Corps Conterinsurgency Field Manual” as text that destroyed democracy in Ukraine for a a Nazi inspired reign in the Ukraine now experiencing Russian Federation war in parts of Ukraine.

  23. Mark Thomason
    April 1, 2022 at 17:53

    When Japan took the Philippines in WW2, the US declared the city of Manila to be an “open city” and announced it would not station forces there nor defend it. The point was to avoid attacks on it.

    That is always an option, to protect the civilian population by doing the war elsewhere. A defender cannot have it both ways, defending the city but objecting to attacks on those defenses including the surrounding city.

    Then again, another option is just to make propaganda out of the result of fighting for a city.

    • Exile
      April 2, 2022 at 13:45

      Paris was also declared a Open City by the Wehrmacht in 1944.

  24. Dienne
    April 1, 2022 at 15:45

    The first thing that needs to be established in each case is whether or not Russia was in fact responsible for the act. In at least the cases of the maternity hospital and the theater, there appears to be pretty damning evidence that Ukraine was responsible, in which event what we have here is a serious case of Thou Dost Protest Too Much.

  25. April 1, 2022 at 15:30

    Uncomfortable facts and realities, even beyond the utter hypocrisy involved.

    • Joseph
      April 2, 2022 at 05:06

      Ww2 hero and President Eisenhower substituted the designation of “POW” to surrendering German soldiers to “enemy combatants” to remove the Geneva Conventions governing the treatment of POW’s resulting in mass starvation of the Germans who were simply put in open fields wrapped in barbed wire with no protection from the elements and no toilet facilities(source: Other Losses, George Bacque). Cheney and Bush used the same ploy in the Iraq War. Noam Chomsky stated that if the Nuremberg Laws were applied to U.S Presidents since WW2, they would all hang. I would include Churchill at the top of the list. This alcoholic war monger belonged to the super secret English group “the Focus”who tasked him with starting the War against Germany with the subsequent war crimes of bombing German cities: fire bombing Hamburg, Dresden. Disproportionate: the fire bombing of over 100 Japanese cities.

  26. Mojo
    April 1, 2022 at 14:57

    It is a real shame that USA Government has now become such a corrupt and sinister regime. We all suspected that since Clinton, lies and propaganda were de facto whilst darstardly deeds were being executed. But these last few years have really shown the depth of the problem.

  27. Realist
    April 1, 2022 at 14:30

    Yes, there has been much said and shown in reports from the front (including footage by the independent media) about the extensive Ukrainian use of human shields to thwart Russian attacks on its massed troops and major weapons systems, such as tanks and artillery pieces. There is the infamous scene of Ukrainian troops playing dirges on a nearby piano as they hold prostrate civilians on the floor at gunpoint. With so many ethnic Russians scattered amongst the population it is quite easy for the Ukrainian troops to find such victims to exploit. Such punitive discrimination, as well as the many photos of seemingly random torture in the streets, is probably also a war crime–and not attributable to Russia!

    Just as significant have been the outright lies apparently told by Ukrainian sources in attempts to completely reverse the appearance of actual culpability in specific high-profile bombings. Examples include the alleged deliberate dynamiting of the infamous theatre and the maternity hospital by Ukraine forces rather than indiscriminate Russian aerial bombardment. Reportedly, any bodies found on the sites were delivered there after the controlled demolitions. Ukraine seems to have used psy-ops and stage craft as never before in a military conflict. Even the Saker (blogger Andrei Raevsky) has given the devils their due on this and admits that Ukraine is winning the propaganda war in a major way.

  28. Caliman
    April 1, 2022 at 14:20

    Good, clear summary again … thanks Scott!

    The argumentation in this and the previous article underlines again that the critical thing is to prevent war from breaking out in the first place as well as ending war as soon as possible. The Neocon minimizations of war’s tragedies and indeed outright glorifications of war are despicable. Neutrality and peace are the hopeful future all nations should aim at, rather than partisan division and conflict.

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