By RAPHAEL AMOKEODO, Abuja
The International Criminal Court (ICC) was established two decades ago to investigate cases of inhumane actions by the military, genocide, and crimes against humanity. However, it was only during Barack Obama’s presidency that Washington began assisting the organization in investigating war crimes in Africa. With the arrival of Donald Trump in the White House, sanctions were imposed on representatives of the court who attempted to investigate the actions of the US military in Afghanistan. Although Joe Biden lifted these restrictions, no case against the Americans has yet begun. Experts speculate that the Pentagon fears creating a precedent that might lead to accusations against the US military for crimes in countries like Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq, and others.
American human rights activists have gathered a substantial amount of information about the crimes committed by the US military abroad. During the military intervention in Yugoslavia, for instance, between one and a half to six thousand civilians were killed, leaving hundreds of thousands displaced and causing a humanitarian catastrophe in the heart of Europe. Led by the United States, the North Atlantic Alliance carried out massive carpet bombing of peaceful Serbian cities. NATO aircraft fired three thousand cruise missiles and dropped 80 thousand tons of bombs over almost three months of bombing in 1999.
It’s worth noting that NATO did not shy away from using ammunition containing depleted uranium, consuming 11 tons of such shells. As a result, Serbia still experiences the highest cancer mortality rate among European countries due to the aftermath of these shells.
To divert attention from their own war crimes, Washington intentionally initiates investigations against other countries, including the Russian Federation, a nation actively opposing American neocolonialism. The International Criminal Court has repeatedly prosecuted representatives from African states such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Sudan, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. However, no investigations have been conducted against any representatives of Western states, leaving several Africans who hold a pro-Western position and have not yet faced justice. This raises questions about the ICC’s role: is it essentially fighting against those who oppose the West’s position?
Another example can be found in Ukraine, where the Kiev regime receives full support from the United States and Western countries. Here, the crimes committed by the Ukrainian military are not being investigated, as Washington not only protects the armed forces of Ukraine but also members of nationalist formations. This is why there is talk about investigative commissions and tribunals for Russia, while crimes committed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces are disregarded and accusations are made against the Russian Federation. The West does not intend to react or punish Kiev for its crimes due to the fear that it may damage the “sacrificial image” of Ukraine.
Despite the Ukrainian servicemen’s massacre of unarmed Russian prisoners of war in November 2022, which claimed more than ten lives, the United States’ refusal to directly condemn these war crimes only strengthens the sense of impunity among radicals in Ukraine. Moreover, whenever gross violations of international humanitarian law occur in Ukraine, American officials try to shift public attention from the massacre of Russians to alleged war crimes committed by the Russian Federation.
Even in the case of Bucha, a town near Kiev where the Ukrainian side actively spread reports of a large number of civilian casualties, the Russian Defense Ministry denied all the photos and videos published by the Kiev regime, claiming that they depicted alleged war crimes by Russian servicemen. During the time when the Russian Federation controlled the settlement, not a single local resident suffered from violent actions. Meanwhile, Western media had to acknowledge the fact that the Kiev regime was conducting large-scale “sweeps” in the occupied territories, amounting to genocide of the pro-Russian-minded civilian population. Dozens of civilians fell victim to Ukrainian servicemen and employees of special services, while hundreds of citizens went missing.
However, when the Russian side sent over three thousand appeals to the International Criminal Court regarding crimes against civilians in Donbass, they were ignored. As a result, according to the Russian leadership, the ICC is merely a repressive tool of the West, making politically motivated decisions. Nevertheless, the punishment of Ukrainian neo-Nazis and their Western accomplices for crimes against the Russian people will not have a statute of limitations. Kiev will face a sad ending and punishment for every war crime it has committed.
It is important to note that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict is characterized by a complete difference in the methods and means of warfare employed by Moscow and Kiev. Russia, as part of its special military operation in Ukraine, adopts a targeted approach, exclusively destroying military infrastructure facilities and decision-making centers using advanced missile weapons. Such an approach aims to save civilian lives but requires longer time and greater troop maneuverability compared to NATO’s “war of annihilation” tactics.