Guilty! ‘Russell Tribunal’ condemns Obama, Poroshenko ‘war crimes’ in E.Ukraine
The show trial in Venice was inspired by the Russell Tribunal organized by British philosopher and Nobel Prize winner Bertrand Russell and hosted by French philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre in 1966 to investigate US war crimes in Vietnam.
Further tribunals focused on human rights violations in the
dictatorships of Argentina and Brazil (1973); on Chile's military
coup (1974–76), on human rights in psychiatry (2001); on Iraq
(2004), and on Palestine (2009–12).
Although the Russell Tribunal has no legal status, its decisions have always affected public opinion around the globe.
The Tribunal’s ruling on Eastern Ukraine will be forwarded to the UN Secretariat, the EU, the International Criminal Court and other competent international bodies.
“The Russell Tribunal, which met to condemn the war crimes in
Donbas (south-eastern Ukraine), based on the presented evidence,
ruled to hold Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, US president
Barack Obama, European Commission head, Jose Manuel Barroso, and
NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, accountable for
their direct responsibility in the war against the people of
Donbas,” the decision by the Russell Tribunal board of
The board at the show trial consisted of Venice residents, chaired by the president of the Veneto Government, Albert Gardin.
Invitations to attend the tribunal were send to a number of human rights organization, including Amnesty International, but none of them attended, Gardin said.
The irregular forces of Lugansk and Donetsk Regions were
represented at the “hearing” by Galina Kozhushko, a native of
Lugansk, who currently resides in Italy.
“The protests [in Donbas] escalated into armed resistance after the voices of the people were ignored. As a result, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and churches were destroyed. People in Lugansk just couldn’t believe that their own government would be killing them,” she said, reported Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency.
Kozhushko also told the panel the she last heard from her father, who remains in Lugansk, one and half months ago as he was trying to find shelter from the fighting.
The events in Ukraine are “a planned provocation by the US
against Russia,” Giulietto Chiesa, journalist and former
European MP, said during the session.
“Ukraine was conquered by the US long ago,” he alleged. “If NATO does send its troops to the border with Russia, we’ll find ourselves on the verge of a war between the west and Russia.”
Ukraine has been engulfed in violent internal conflict since
April, when Kiev’s military began its crackdown on the
southeastern regions of the country after they refused to
recognize the country’s new coup-imposed authorities.
The United Nations said that the death toll in the Ukrainian conflict has exceeded 3,000, with this number including the 298 passengers and crew on board the MH17 airliner.
The number of internally displaced Ukrainians has reached 260,000, with another 814,000 finding refuge in Russia, the UN said.
The sides agreed a ceasefire during talks in Minsk, Belarus on September 5, but there are still considerable amounts of work to be done for the conflict to be settled peacefully.