War Crimes in Ukraine: The Victims’ Perspective


  • Nicolas Ligneul


martial law, war crimes, Russian-Ukrainian war, russian criminals, victims of the war


Victims must be treated with compassion and respect. They must be able to be compensated through legal recourse so that they can be restored with dignity.
However, in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, war crimes are systematic. The facts are horrific. Assassinations, looting, rape, bombing of civilians, summary executions of prisoners, torture,... are the daily life of Ukraine.
The crimes are atrocious. The damage suffered is colossal and the victims of war crimes are very numerous. The issue of the status of victims can be summed up by the situation of the nine-year-old Ukrainian girl who saw her mother die in front of her eyes after she had been raped a very large number of times. Of course, the perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted. They must pay for their crimes.
But what will become of this little girl? What is its future? In our modern societies, it is not possible to abandon the victim. To become a victim is to die, at least a little. The status of the victim is the means of keeping him alive after death. By recognising her right to see the perpetrators prosecuted and convicted, and by recognising her right to be declared a victim and to be compensated.
Faced with the need for recognition of the status of victims, modern international law establishes the principle of recognition of the status of victims. In the context of the war in Ukraine, the recognition of this principle is real, but the effective implementation of this principle deserves to be improved