Skip to main content

Torture & War Crimes

Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, visits a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on April 13.
Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, visits a mass grave in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, on April 13.

Can Plea Bargains Save the ICC?

Negotiated settlements would allow the court to go after more bad actors and could even mitigate further atrocities.

Shishimarin with a shaved head and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt looks down as his image is reflected in the plexiglass holding cell.
Shishimarin with a shaved head and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt looks down as his image is reflected in the plexiglass holding cell.

The Reckoning for War Crimes in Ukraine Has Begun

What do the first convictions of Russian servicemen hold for the future?

An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes, and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in a cemetery in Irpin, Ukraine, on May 16.
An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes, and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in a cemetery in Irpin, Ukraine, on May 16.
Hermann Göring, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's second in command, at the Nuremberg trials
Hermann Göring, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's second in command, at the Nuremberg trials

Don’t Cling to Hopes That Putin Will Ever Face Justice

The system for prosecuting war crimes is broken—but focusing on sanctions could work.

A mourner attends the funeral of a family of three in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv on April 22.
A mourner attends the funeral of a family of three in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv on April 22.
Ukrainian relatives mourn at a funeral of a family member killed in Bucha, Ukraine.
Ukrainian relatives mourn at a funeral of a family member killed in Bucha, Ukraine.

Bucha Must Be Remembered

As Ukraine seeks accountability for the perpetrators of civilian killings, it must also process its collective trauma.

A woman walks past a Russian tank on a muddy street with houses and people in the background.
A woman walks past a Russian tank on a muddy street with houses and people in the background.

Putin’s Gruesome Playbook

Russia’s indiscriminate bombing in Ukraine looks startlingly familiar.

People take part in a silent protest against the mass killing of Ukrainian civilians.
People take part in a silent protest against the mass killing of Ukrainian civilians.
Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova shows pictures during an interview with AFP in western Ukrainian city of Lviv on March 22.
Prosecutor General of Ukraine Iryna Venediktova shows pictures during an interview with AFP in western Ukrainian city of Lviv on March 22.

To Prosecute Putin for War Crimes, Safeguard the Digital Proof

Holding Russia accountable for atrocities in Ukraine requires the painstaking collection and preservation of evidence in the face of rampant disinformation.

A mass grave is exhumed by local authorities as they attempt to identify the bodies of civilians killed during the Russian occupation in Bucha, Ukraine.
A mass grave is exhumed by local authorities as they attempt to identify the bodies of civilians killed during the Russian occupation in Bucha, Ukraine.

Russia’s Ukraine Propaganda Has Turned Fully Genocidal

Egged on by the language of annihilation and extermination, Russian soldiers have become willing executioners.

Gennady Kuzmin addresses the U.N. General Assembly.
Gennady Kuzmin addresses the U.N. General Assembly.

U.N. Kicks Russia Off Human Rights Council

In one way at least, so far, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has joined Muammar al-Qaddafi’s Libya.

Three people huddle together in mourning in front of a large pile of dirt as snow falls.
Three people huddle together in mourning in front of a large pile of dirt as snow falls.

War Crimes Trials Aren’t Enough

To protect civilians from war crimes, stop them from happening now.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the press in Bucha.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks to the press in Bucha.

Reports of Russian Atrocities in Ukraine Are Just the Beginning

Hellish scenes from the Kyiv suburb of Bucha spark fears of what awaits in Mariupol.

Russian President Vladimir Putin at press conference a joint press conference with German Chancellor at the Kremlin in Moscow, on February 15, 2022. (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/ Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)
Russian President Vladimir Putin at press conference a joint press conference with German Chancellor at the Kremlin in Moscow, on February 15, 2022. (Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/ Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images)

Prosecuting Putin

Bringing the Russian president to trial will be a challenge. But war crimes lawyers are raring to go.

People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.
People protest for political reform and the release of political prisoners in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan Can’t Torture Its Way to Stability

Until the Tokayev regime shows remorse for its brutal crackdown, the country’s reforms won’t bring progress.

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman.
Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman.

America’s ICC Animus Gets Tested by Putin’s Alleged War Crimes

Does U.S. support for an investigation of Russia’s attack on Ukraine signal a bigger policy shift?

The memorial called “Heroines,” dedicated to Kosovar Albanian women wartime rape survivors, is seen in Pristina, Kosovo, on May 4, 2021.
The memorial called “Heroines,” dedicated to Kosovar Albanian women wartime rape survivors, is seen in Pristina, Kosovo, on May 4, 2021.

We Need a Better Way to Prosecute Sexual Assault in Conflict

Though rape is one of the most commonly perpetrated war crimes, it is rarely considered by international courts.

A woman holds a placard reading “International Criminal Court in The Hague” above the portraits of both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko during a demonstration in support of Ukraine in front of Russia’s embassy in Rome on Feb. 24.
A woman holds a placard reading “International Criminal Court in The Hague” above the portraits of both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko during a demonstration in support of Ukraine in front of Russia’s embassy in Rome on Feb. 24.

Could Putin Actually Face Accountability at the ICC?

The International Criminal Court has opened an investigation into Ukraine. Here’s what you need to know.

A Syrian man carries an injured boy.
A Syrian man carries an injured boy.

The U.S. Has a Moral Responsibility to Prevent Assad’s Normalization

The Syrian leader’s crimes will forever be recalled alongside the world’s worst tyrannical butchers.

A smiling Bashar al-Assad faces a crowd of journalists with microphones.
A smiling Bashar al-Assad faces a crowd of journalists with microphones.

Biden’s Inaction on Syria Risks Normalizing Assad—and His Crimes

The world is gradually accepting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad back into the fold.

Loading graphics