September 26, 2023, 15:52

Ukraine needs to speed up the consideration of cases of Russia’s ecocide

Investigating crimes and passing sentences against the occupiers by national courts will make it easier to prove the facts of damage to Ukraine in international courts. Until there is a court decision from a Ukrainian court, it will be impossible to bring the terrorist country to justice in international arbitration.

“First, the Ukrainian court must recognise the ecocide in our country. In the future, these verdicts will at least allow for the imposition of sanctions on criminals at the international level. Ukraine currently has a specific procedure for investigating a particular category of cases. It includes ecocide when it is possible to prosecute in the absence of the accused. And we have such a practice. In May, two Russian generals involved in the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant and the danger in the Black Sea were already prosecuted under Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (Violation of the laws and customs of war),” explains Sofiia Shutiak, a lawyer and environmental policy expert at WWF-Ukraine.

To date, 15 criminal cases have been initiated in Ukraine, classified as ecocide. Even according to preliminary estimates, the damage to our environment is estimated at almost USD 57 billion. Ukraine qualifies Russia’s environmental crimes under two articles of the Criminal Code: Article 438 – war crimes and Article 441 – ecocide.

Watch the full video on the YouTube channel(in Ukrainian).

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