28.01.2017 Author: Christopher Black

Kiev’s Russian Complaint to the ICJ: Looking Into A Mirror

21213180On January 17, in another attempt to harass Russia and add to the anti-Russian propaganda generated by the NATO powers, the Kiev regime in de facto charge of western Ukraine has filed a complaint against Russia in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The complaint, which reads as a propaganda tract instead of a legal document, and is no doubt crafted for propaganda purposes rather than juridical ones, is a litany of lies and concoctions that, when examined, are a projection onto Russia of the very crimes that the Kiev regime is guilty of. We can have no doubt that when Mr. Poroshenko was presented with the document and the allegations contained in it he must have felt that he was looking into a mirror.

For this is what the American, excuse me, Ukrainian lawyers on the Kiev government staff have produced, a document that describes all the crimes of the Kiev regime committed against the Ukrainian people. The criminal claims to be the victim, a tactic typical of the Americans and their allies. But perhaps my slip above was not an error since Poroshenko made the document public the same day that Joseph Biden arrived in Kiev. It would not be surprising if Biden carried this document with him and delivered it to Poroshenko along with other orders of the day issued by his masters in Washington.

The document sets out a long list of accusations against Russia and asks the Court to declare that Russia bears “international responsibility” for the “acts of terrorism committed by its proxies in Ukraine,” including the shooting down of the Malaysian MH17 airliner, which compelling evidence indicates was shot down by the Kiev regime’s forces. Even the NATO controlled Dutch Safety Board has not stated which party shot down the plane, though issuing selective and biased reports crafted to indicate it was Russia. The Dutch recently detained journalists coming back from the Donbass and seized their material and data from an apparent well-founded fear that the world would learn that the Kiev regime shot down the plane and the NATO countries were or are active co-conspirators; for why else would the Dutch police seize the evidence the journalists had gathered.

The list of allegations against Russia goes back as far as 2004. It is stated that Ukraine has been the subject of “Russian pressure and intimidation” since then increasing with the NATO backed coup of 2014. The allegations include “Russian military intervention in Ukraine, financing acts of “terrorism,” violating “human rights,” instigating and supporting an “armed insurrection,” the “seizure of Crimea “and creating a “climate of violence and intimidation against non-Russian ethnic groups”, specifically the Crimean Tartars.

The document requests that the Court order Russia to comply with “its obligations not to finance terrorists under the Terrorism Financing Convention” including ceasing support to “illegal armed groups engaging in terrorism”, to withdraw its weaponry from Ukraine, stop the movement of money, weapons and other assets from Russian territory and “occupied Crimea” and finally names Russian officials who it accuses of financing terrorism including Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defence, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, the Vice Chair of the Duma, Sergei Mirosov, member of the Duma, and, perhaps surprisingly, Gennady Zyuganov, leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The naming of Mr. Zyuganov can be seen as part of the continuing suppression of the Ukrainian Communist Party and physical attacks against and arrests of its members by a regime that openly supports fascists and uses fascist paramilitary formations against the peoples of eastern Ukraine.

A claim for monetary compensation is also made for damage to infrastructure and loss of GDP because of the on-going war between the Kiev regime and the Donbass republics. The amount of the claim is yet to be specified but we can be sure they will invent some fantastic figure for dramatic effect, to add to the absurdity of making a claim for damages for a war which they started and have carried out with brutality for the past two years.

The document speaks volumes about NATO’s and Kiev’s intentions to continue to undermine the Minsk Ceasefire Agreements and to continue their war crimes and crimes against humanity against the peoples of the Donbass republics who the document describes as “terrorists.”

A legal document based on lies has no juridical value and serves only as an additional propaganda device to use against Russia in the court of western public opinion. We have seen the Americans draft dozens of such fake indictments at the UN ad hoc tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda and the tribunals for Cambodia and Sierra Leone, as well as the International Criminal Court, whose mechanisms they control. The fake indictments are always made against national leaders who stand in their way and are always drafted to be read not as juridical documents but emotional narratives designed to be easily quoted by the western media and politicians.

But it will soon be made clear to the Kiev regime and their NATO masters that the filing of this documents is a mistake that will come back on them since they next have to prove their false allegations in court. Since it is they who are guilty of the very crimes they accuse Russia of, since it is they who have used terrorism against the peoples of the Donbass, since it is they who have violated the political and civil rights of the citizens of the rest of Ukraine by banning opposition political parties such as the Communist Party and murdered civilians on a daily basis from Odessa to the Donbass, and since it is highly probable that they were involved in the downing of flight MH17, it is they who will be found responsible for crimes, not Russia.

We can expect Russia to file a counter-claim and we can also expect the Donbass Republics to ask for intervener status, as they are allowed to do, in order to present the real facts to the court and to the world. It is unfortunate that a Ukrainian government in exile has not yet been set up, though there has been talk of doing so since it could also ask for intervener status before the court and could object to the filing of the claim in the first place since the Kiev regime is not a legitimate one. It was established through a coup against the legitimate government and has not permitted free and fair elections since that time, has been at war with its eastern regions since the coup and does not control all of its territory. The fact that Russia has recognised the Kiev regime as a regime it has to deal with de facto does not give the regime legitimacy de jure.

President Trump has said nothing to indicate that his policy towards Russia vis a vis Ukraine will be different from that of the Obama regime, so we can expect this type of harassment to continue. The complaint to the ICJ will probably be used to back calls for more “sanctions” against Russia and we can expect this to be accompanied by new complaints before the International Criminal Court and further military pressure against Russia from the Baltic to the Balkans and the Black Sea. Ukraine has already filed claims against Russia in the European Court of Human Rights as part of its harassment and Rostyslav Pavlenko, an advisor to Poroshenko stated that the Kiev regime is also contemplating whether to file an official complaint, presumably with the ICC, against President Putin “as a war criminal.”

There has been little mention of this complaint made in the Russian press and little said in response by the Russian government but we can be sure that they are prepared to deal with this nonsense in the intelligent and effective manner they have used to deal with all these issues so far. But this action does not promise anything resembling peace in Ukraine or an easing of the pressure on Russia by the NATO war alliance. It is a signal that the ground is being prepared for further action against Russia, and with the threat from President Trump to employ the aggressive “peace through strength” doctrine of Ronald Reagan, there seem to be no grounds for hoping that we will see peace in our time.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”