How easy it is to form, or rather, to control public opinion in a society where people do not know how, do not want or cannot, are not taught to think, seek information and draw their own conclusions based on this information. It would seem that today many primary sources are in the public domain. You don't have to go to specialized libraries, turn over hundreds of pages of documents, you just need to enter the corresponding site, and all the documents are before your eyes.
Today, many media outlets, especially in Ukraine, are talking about a breakthrough in the consideration of Ukraine's lawsuit against Russia over human rights violations in Donbass and Crimea in 2014-2020. We also have such publications. The source of increased interest in this topic was the "report on the preliminary study of the situation in 2020", which was published by the outgoing prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal Fatou Bensouda.
Moreover, everyone has a reason for joy from the publication of this report. Ukraine squeals with delight at the fact that finally "the whole world" recognizes Russia's crimes in the Donbass and Crimea. Donbass is rubbing its hands, thinking that in The Hague they will see the crimes that the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the volunteers have committed on their territory all these years. Russia hopes that the "world community" will finally understand that there is a civil war going on in Ukraine, and will recognize this fact.
The supporters of different political trends - from radicals of all stripes to hardened liberals - feel exactly the same joy. Finally, the truth will prevail! Finally, “the whole world” recognizes the correctness of their point of view on the events taking place in Ukraine in recent years.
What is the reason for this excitement of everyone and everything? Just what I wrote above. In the unwillingness and inability to read primary sources and draw simple conclusions. Most of those who paid attention to this news, treat legal issues in much the same way as football or hockey. "They cheer for our people," no matter what.
When it comes to international courts, most commentators suddenly lose their ability to read. Moreover, they cannot read the entire text, but only individual words or phrases. The key word that these people have forgotten how to read is the word "criminal". That is, this tribunal is considering purely criminal cases that have nothing to do with politics.
First of all, on this misunderstanding of the essence of the work of the tribunal in The Hague, the entire ideology of the “fight against Russian aggression” in Kiev is built. If we now count all the claims that Ukraine has filed in international courts against Russia in recent years, then, probably, no one will be able to take away the primacy in this issue from Kiev. Lawsuits are filed for any reason and for no reason.
It is alleged that in the hope of obvious changes in the legal system of the West, which we have already seen many times when considering cases involving accusations against Russia, at least some accusation will nevertheless be brought. Let it be partial, albeit without any sanctions, but an accusation.
For many Ukrainians, it will be a discovery that how much money their "rich" country spends on all these lawsuits and proceedings. I often remember the former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Elena Zerkal. How many times, explaining failures in international courts, Zerkal spoke about Ukraine's limited financial resources, which do not allow hiring competent lawyers.
And at the same time, it was Zerkal who became one of the initiators of the conclusion of a legal service agreement with the American firm Covington & Burling. Again, I remember how surprised this choice of international lawyers around the world. The fact is that specialists of this level - people who are able to act on behalf of one state against another - are a piece of goods. And the number of firms capable of doing such business in the world is limited.
American Covington & Burling has never dealt with such matters. This firm specializes in commercial arbitration. Moreover, if you look at the advertising brochures of this company, the Americans have never positioned themselves as specialists in working in UN courts.
But this fact did not prevent the Americans from already receiving more than $ 28 million from Ukraine for their services since 2015 and issuing another tranche of $ 5,5 million in June this year. By the way, when Ukrainian deputies tried to figure out why exactly Covington & Burling deals with all the claims of Ukraine, as well as represents the interests of certain Ukrainian state-owned companies, such as Naftogaz, they quickly got a blow, and interest subsided by itself.
By the way, there is one more fact that is worth mentioning. There are no Ukrainians in the team of lawyers acting on behalf of Ukraine. There are no people who can take into account the specifics of specific cases exactly as citizens of this country. Claims regarding the state of affairs in Donbass or Crimea are made by those who have never been to these regions, who are guided by the materials of only one side of the conflict.
Talking about how Ukraine is fighting in the courts against Russia can be long enough. But I don't see any sense in this. Even after what has been written above, it can already be concluded that the main thing for Kiev politicians and officials is not truth and justice, but the very fact of such claims.
Systematic work is underway, designed not for the external consumer, but for the Ukrainian society. A sort of conviction of their own man in the street in the correctness of the policy of the Ukrainian government. You see, international courts accept Ukraine's claim! This means that they recognize their correctness. Hence, "the whole world" is with us. This is nothing more than wishful thinking. Fictional for fact.
Why does a cat scratch on its back
Let's go back to the specific International Criminal Tribunal. Let's come back in order to understand why, according to the Ukrainian tradition, peremoga is likely to soon turn into zrada.
So, the tribunal has clearly established the time frame for the case under consideration. From February 20, 2014, from the start of the murders on the Maidan, to the present. Three territories have been established, in which the proceedings will be conducted: Kiev, the events in Crimea and the war in Donbass. Priority episodes for consideration will be those that were included in the UN reports on human rights violations in Ukraine and Crimea. Hence, the actions of Ukraine, LPR, DPR and Russia will be considered.
Let's start with the Maidan. No matter how hard the Ukrainian authorities tried to hide the truth about who started shooting and when, there are a lot of materials on this issue today, including the confessions of the participants-snipers. Those who directed and organized this process have also been identified. Most of these people are still part of the political elite of Ukraine.
But for MUT, this is not an argument. If the tribunal finds that politicians are involved in criminal and war crimes, then Ukraine will simply be obliged to extradite them. Once again, the materials do not exist at the level of conversations, but at the level of specific documents, and it will be difficult to challenge these documents.
Donbass. In this case, the same process will take place as with the Maidan. Baseless accusations of Republicans, based on statements by Ukrainian politicians and some controversial witnesses, against specific, documented crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and volunteers, against messages from the OSCE mission and international observers.
The evidence base of the parties is not comparable. That there is only one "Alley of Angels" in Donetsk. What is the "air conditioner explosion" in Lugansk? And thousands more civilians perished from the republics. And sabotage in cities, during which civilians died, and which were glorified in Ukraine as a victory of the Ukrainian weapons, the Ukrainian army?
The situation is even more complicated in Crimea. The main emphasis of the representatives of Kiev is placed on the observance of human rights in relation to the Crimean Tatars, members of the banned in Russia "Hizb ut-Tahrir". But even here some nuances emerge. The fact is that this organization is recognized as terrorist not only in Russia, but also in many Western countries. It is doubtful that the West will go to openly admit terrorists as victims.
But Russia's counterarguments are deadly for Ukraine. This is a food and energy blockade, and the blocking of the canal, and the actual genocide of the Crimean people, especially the Crimean Tatars, who traditionally are engaged in agriculture in Crimea. These are saboteurs who were sent to the territory of Crimea by Ukraine. After all, for example, the same saboteur Panov, who for a long time was considered a victim of the Russian FSB, after returning to Ukraine became a national hero precisely as a saboteur.
When the shoemaker bakes pies
Many people today talk about the Hague Tribunal, without even understanding what it is. Someone will be able to explain what this tribunal is doing, where and on what particular street in The Hague it is located, who is the chairman of this tribunal? We are talking about something that in essence does not exist at all. Yes, there are several courts in The Hague dealing with disputes between states, but they are not connected in any way.
The UN spoke a lot about the need to create a single international court. The very idea arose almost immediately after the creation of the organization. But the matter did not go beyond talk. The reason for this lies in the very system of international relations that existed at that time. The Americans opposed the creation of such a court, because it would provide an opportunity to punish US citizens for war crimes. The Russians also did not particularly want their citizens to be tried somewhere outside the USSR. The rest were not asked.
The decision to create a permanent criminal tribunal matured only at the 52nd UN General Assembly. It was there that the legal basis for the creation of such a court was adopted. The so-called Rome Statute, which at that time was signed by 120 states. As you can see, the statute was initially not adopted by all UN member states.
Nevertheless, of all the signatories of this, by July 1, 2002, the statute had been ratified by exactly half of the signatories - 60 states. This day is the official day of the establishment of the ICC. By the way, among those who signed the statute were the USA, Russia and Ukraine. Only by 2002 Ukraine had not ratified what had already been signed. This is generally a problem for Ukrainian politicians. Sign and forget to ratify, for example, the Budapest Memorandum.
However, the membership of the United States and Russia in the statute also turned out to be not eternal. Both countries have withdrawn their signatures from the document. The Americans abandoned the statute under Bush Jr., and we in 2016.
Thus, the decisions of the Hague International Criminal Tribunal are not at all binding for Russia, Ukraine, or even the United States. I will not write about the LPR and the DPR. The republics have not yet been recognized, and therefore cannot be signed by the Roman statute.
In Kiev, there are now quite serious disputes about the need to ratify the statute by Ukraine. But this will not change anything at all in international relations. ICC decisions are binding only for states that have ratified the treaty.
Well, let's wait for the development of events. I don’t think that Ukrainian political experts do not understand the trap into which Ukrainian politicians have driven Ukraine. This means that in the near future we should expect some steps to delay the process of considering the case. Moreover, the new ICC prosecutor will need some time to familiarize himself with the claim. And Covington & Burling will not want to lose such an accommodating "cash cow" ...