President of Ukraine

Head of President's Office believes Ukraine's security cannot be guaranteed without trial for Russian political leaders

17 February 2023 - 22:52

Ukraine will not feel safe until it punishes those who started the war by committing the crime of aggression. It was stated by Head of the Office of the President Andriy Yermak, opening the Ukraine Is You exhibition within the Munich Security Conference.

"The fastest and easiest way to build the security of Ukraine and the whole world is to create a special tribunal to try the Russian leadership for the crime of aggression. Europe and the entire civilized world understand why it is necessary," the head of the President's Office said.

Yermak is convinced the creation of the special international tribunal to investigate the crime of Russian aggression against Ukraine would be the most important step on the way to removing the immunity of the Russian leadership.

According to him, despite the international support and progress in establishing the tribunal, a new risk has arisen.

"Some states have spoken in favor of a hybrid tribunal, which is unacceptable for Ukraine. It is not an option for our country, as it does not provide any guarantee that we will remove the immunity from prosecution of Putin, Lavrov, Mishustin, and others," the head of the Office of the President said.

Yermak reported that as of the beginning of February, more than 60,000 Russian war crimes were recorded in Ukraine, including 155 cases of sexual violence. Since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, more than 9,500 civilians, including 461 children, have been killed. About 78,000 infrastructure facilities have been damaged or completely destroyed.

Ukrainian children and their parents cannot feel safe either, the head of the President's Office said.

To date, over 16,000 cases of forced displacement of Ukrainian children have been recorded. And these are not orphans. Children are separated from their parents taken to infiltration camps and torture camps. And then the children are sent to Russia.

"Some parents are illegally deprived of their parental rights and forced at gunpoint to accept that their children will be taken away. What security can we talk about if at any moment you can lose the most precious thing you have – your life, children, and health? The murder of Ukrainian mothers and the forcible deportation of children would be impossible without one crime, which is called – no matter how scary it sounds – maternal. It is about the crime of aggression. That is, the crime that started an aggressive and unjust war against Ukraine," Yermak said.

Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference from 2008 to 2022, spoke at the opening of the exhibition. He said that the crime of aggression is aimed at dominating and destroying a neighboring country.

"It is a problem not only of Ukraine, but it is a problem of Europe, NATO, and the whole world," he said.