In an interview published Saturday for the Swiss newspaper Le Temps, Carla Del Ponte, decried the Russian autocrat as a “war criminal” for orchestrating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
In interviews given to Swiss media to mark the release of her latest book, the Swiss lawyer who oversaw U.N. investigations in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia said clear war crimes were being committed in Ukraine.
She said she was particularly shocked by the use of mass graves in Russia’s war on Ukraine, which recalls the worst of the wars in the former Yugoslavia.
“I hoped never to see mass graves again,” she told the newspaper Blick. “These dead people have loved ones who don’t even know what’s become of them. That is unacceptable.”
Other war crimes she identified in Ukraine included attacks on civilians, the destruction of civilian buildings and even the demolishing of entire villages.
She said the investigation in Ukraine would be easier than that in Yugoslavia because the country itself had requested an international probe. The current ICC chief prosecutor, Karim Khan, visited Ukraine last month.
If the ICC finds proof of war crimes, she said, “you must go up the chain of command until you reach those who took the decisions.”