Putin’s war is also a crime – the world must punish Russia as a terrorist state | Andriy Zagorodnyuk

Putin’s war is also a crime – the world must punish Russia as a terrorist state | Andriy Zagorodnyuk

After airstrikes on civilian targets, from a shopping mall to hospitals, Ukraine’s allies must use the correct legal definitions

As I write, rescuers are still searching the remains of a shopping centre in the central Ukrainian town of Kremenchuk. There were hundreds of people inside the centre when Russian missiles hit it on Monday. The number of casualties is still unclear, but there are 20 confirmed deaths and tens of unidentified bodies. The mall was miles away from any military target. There could be no other reason to attack it than to spread fear and terror in Ukraine. The Russian military hit it with two missiles, ensuring devastating damage.

G7 countries unanimously condemned those attacks, as they should. But unless the world puts a meaningful political and legal definition to these atrocities, such condemnations will very quickly be forgotten by the general public. The world needs to comprehend that along with a ruthless military operation Russia conducts indiscriminate attacks on non-military targets: this is terrorist activity. We need to distinguish it and qualify it as such.

Andriy Zagorodnyuk is a Chairman of Centre for Defence Strategies and former Minister of Defence of Ukraine

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