Ukraine has informed international partners about the intentions of the Russian Federation to commit a flagrant war crime — the sham trial of Ukrainian prisoners of war, defenders of Mariupol.

“Any sham trial of prisoners of war will be a grave breach of the UN Charter, the 1949 Geneva Convention relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War (Geneva Convention III) and Additional Protocol I, as well as a crime against the fundamental norms and principles of international law, and will forever label Russia as a terrorist state, and the Russian people as barbarians,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine states.

Ukraine is drawing the attention of the international community to the Kremlin’s meticulous and purposeful preparation for the commission of this crime. The sham trial announced by Russia is null and void, the diplomats underscore.

“All the defenders of Mariupol are combatants, and after being detained by the enemy, they are granted and guaranteed the status of prisoners of war and must enjoy appropriate treatment, in accordance with the provisions of international humanitarian law, in particular the 1949 Geneva Convention (III) relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War and Additional Protocol I,” the MFA stresses.

Ukraine calls on international partners – international organisations and countries – to strongly condemn the illegal actions of the Russian Federation against Ukrainian prisoners of war and to take immediate measures to force Russia to strictly adhere to the norms of international humanitarian law, in particular regarding the treatment of prisoners of war.

“Ukraine documents all facts and events related to the preparation and organisation of a possible sham trial of Ukrainian defenders. Every war criminal involved in this process — from the perpetrators in Mariupol to the organisers in the Kremlin — will bear the strictest responsibility, no matter how long it takes,” the officials say.

Natalia Tolub

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