A French priest known for his human rights work has warned that Ukraine and Russia will continue hostility towards each other – even if Russian President Vladimir Putin dies.
Father Patrick Desbois made the remarks in an extensive interview with Ukrainska Pravda published on Wednesday. Desbois described the ongoing barriers to holding alleged war criminals accountable and other challenges to avoidance of conflict amid Russia’s four-month-old invasion of Ukraine.
According to the news organization, a French Roman Catholic priest, Desbois was recognized internationally for documenting the Holocaust and identifying the mass burial sites of Jews, Roma and others killed in Eastern Europe by the Nazis during World War II. Is. Desbois is now collecting evidence from victims of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine.
Speaking to Ukrainska Pravda, Desbois said that “hate cannot be avoided. They came to Ukraine, killed children, raped women, robbed, destroyed everything, how can you not hate them after that.” can you?”
Desbois explained that hatred has driven Ukrainians to fight against Russia. But he advised caution.
“Hate must teach you to be careful,” he said, according to Ukranska Pravda. “You have to understand that even if Putin dies, they will still be fatal. It is your great failure that you have such neighbors.”
Since launching its invasion of Ukraine in February, Russia has been accused by Ukraine as well as its Western allies of attacking civilians in violation of international human rights standards. Amnesty International documented unlawful airstrikes and extrajudicial killings by Russian forces in May.
Over Russia’s objection, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has launched an independent investigation into an alleged massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha.
According to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Desbois announced in March that it was launching an investigation into alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine. According to the news agency report, the investigation was supported by Ukraine’s Babin Yar Holocaust Memorial Center and Yahad-in Unam, a non-governmental organization Desbois founded with the aim of presenting evidence to the ICC.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told PBS News Hour Said on Wednesday that the investigation is still in the initial stage. He added that the ICC is “investigating allegations regarding illegal transfers of citizens and in particular children.” The prosecutor also called for a dose of realism in his effort.
“The ICC has been here for 20 years. “It has historically been low resource. It has a clear jurisdiction. And there are few unexpected consequences or difficulties of creating other mechanisms.”
Desbois previously collected evidence of human rights violations by Islamic State against the Yazidis, an ethnic and religious minority in Iraq. Speaking to Ukrainska Pravda, she said that women who were sexually assaulted and enslaved by Islamic terrorists were vocal about their experiences. He described how Yezidi Nadezhda Murad, who was victimized by extremists, wrote a book and won the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism.
But Desbois worries that Ukrainian women will not be so vocal.
“In the Ukrainian tradition, everything is different – I am afraid that Ukrainian women will not talk about it,” he said. “And that’s a problem.”
In the interview, Desbois also spoke of a large moral “gray area” in Ukraine, hearing from Ukrainians who said the Russians gave them food or that they do business with the occupying power. He said Putin relied on the gray area and worried that less support for Ukraine could work in favor of the Russian leader.
“However, the fatigue from Ukraine is not felt in the world today,” Desbois said. “There was a great mobilization everywhere, the Ukrainian flag everywhere. There has been no such mobilization in the West since the Vietnam War. But we will lose it if we don’t remind ourselves of civilian casualties.”
newsweek Contacted ICC for additional comments.