Kyiv Holds War Crimes Trial Over Russian Invasion

Story Highlights
  • Ukraine to hold first war crimes trial over Russian invasion.
  • Russia 'most direct threat to world order.
  • Finland and Sweden to take final steps in joining NATO.

Russia-Ukraine Crisis: As the fighting raged between Russia and Ukraine, Kyiv said it has recaptured Pytomnyk – a village about halfway to the Russian border. Warnings were issued about the fate of civilians and the last fighters in the southern port of Mariupol, following intense bombardment by Russia in the past weeks which, according to the city’s mayor, had turned the city into a “medieval ghetto”.

The war which began on February 24th has shown no signs of let-up as reconciliations during the first month of fighting did not reach any significant breakthrough. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky told French students via video link, “The war will end when Russia returns our right to live”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine will launch its first war crime trial over the Russian invasion, bringing a 21-year-old Russian service member to the stand. Kyiv and Washington have repeatedly accused Russian troops of committing war crimes since the invasion, which has sparked a massive exodus of nearly six million civilians, many of whom bear accounts of torture, sexual violence and indiscriminate destruction.

Finland and Sweden are taking the final steps to join the defence alliance of NATO, spurred by a full-scale war Russia is waging in Ukraine. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto is on Thursday expected to declare his support for membership, and in Sweden, ruling Social Democrats are likely to announce their backing after a party executive meeting on Sunday. Russia is the “most direct threat” to the international order because of its invasion of Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Tokyo.

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