A coalition of civil society organizations have launched a global petition calling for an international tribunal to try Russian president Vladimir Putin for war crimes.
The coalition includes the Ukrainian World Congress, the largest association uniting Ukrainian diaspora worldwide and the Free Ukraine Resistance Movement.
The petition aims to collect 10 million signatures from across the world to send a strong message of support to all of the Ukrainians on the ground and to add pressure on governments to start the legal proceedings at the International Criminal Court.
Crimes against humanity
A coalition spokesperson said: “Vladimir Putin has already earned the title of a war criminal.
“He has committed violent war crimes, crimes against humanity and threatened genocide against the Ukrainian people.
“He is responsible for bombing hospitals, schools, kindergartens and other civilian objects in Ukrainian cities.
“He is responsible for killing hundreds of civilians, including children.
“He is the single largest threat to humanity and global security today.
“He has threatened nuclear war.
“Putin must be stopped. Putin must be punished.
“We urge all citizens of the world to support this appeal and spread the message!”
The petition can be accessed via https://chng.it/SjDwwsgJGB
The call came amid accusations of using increasingly horrific weapons and more indiscriminate air strikes in Ukraine by Russian forces.
UK Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said on Tuesday that those responsible for war crimes faced being dragged before a court as Nazi leaders were at the Nuremberg trials after the Second World War.
Breaches of the laws of war, he added, would be documented and recorded as shocking new video footage and reports were coming out of Ukraine of civilian areas being hit by air strikes.
As the world reeled in horror at atrocities being committed, it emerged that five members of one family, including Sofia Fedko, aged six, were killed in southern Ukraine on the first day of the invasion last Thursday as Russian troops advanced from annexed Crimea towards the city of Kherson.
Boris Johnson said on a visit to Warsaw, Poland, on Tuesday morning: “It’s clear that Vladimir Putin is prepared to use barbaric and indiscriminate tactics against innocent civilians to bomb tower blocks, to send missiles into tower blocks, to kill children, as we are seeing in increasing numbers.”
Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the conflict already, according to reports by the Ukrainian authorities which could not be confirmed.
Mr Raab stated that the International Criminal Court prosecutor in The Hague was already looking at claims of war crimes.
“The UK, in whatever form is necessary, will play its role as we have done over many years since right way back to Nuremberg, to make sure that anyone committing these egregious crimes will be held to account,” he told Times Radio.
“We have shown that recently, Radovan Karadzic, the butcher of the Balkans, has ended up in a British cell, via The Hague for his actions.
“Therefore the seed of doubt must be laid, not just in Putin’s mind, but anyone following these reckless orders and engaged in these reckless attacks on civilians, that they could end up in the dock of a court and they could end up spending the rest of their days behind bars.”