Russian President Vladimir Putin leads the country of the key Protocol of the Geneva Convention, which allows the investigation of alleged war crimes against civilians.
Putin issued a decree on the output of the Protocol 1 to the 1949 Convention, “relating to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts“, citing “exceptional circumstances affecting the interests of the Russian Federation and requiring urgent action“.
The Protocol authorizes the Commission International humanitarian fact-finding to investigate alleged war crimes and other “serious violations” against civilians caught in armed conflict. The Commission, created in 1991, consists of 15 independent experts elected by 77 States, including Russia, which has recognized this authority.
For example, the Commission conducted the investigation into the death of a paramedic in 2017, working on observation mission of OSCE on Donbass during the conflict between the Ukrainian military and Russian-backed separatists.
“In the present international environment the risks of abuse of authority Commission for political purposes by unscrupulous States are significantly increased“, – Putin said in a letter sent to the lower house of the Russian Parliament.
The Russian President accused the Commission that it “does not actually perform its function” since its inception, and said that Russia has no representative in that body, and they annually make a contribution from its budget.
Putin’s order was made two days after the defence Ministry in Moscow denied a report the New York Times that the Russian air force bombed four hospitals in Syria for 12 hours during the operation in may to crush the resistance to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.