Putin Has Committed War Crimes in Ukraine: UK’s Johnson

By Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
Alexander Zhang
March 2, 2022 Updated: March 2, 2022

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of committing war crimes in Ukraine.

At the Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on March 2, Johnson said, “What we have seen already from Vladimir Putin’s regime in the use of the munitions that they have already been dropping on innocent civilians, in my view, already fully qualifies as a war crime.”

He said the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is already investigating events in Ukraine and, “I am sure the whole House will support that.”

Epoch Times Photo
The square outside the damaged local city hall of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on March 1, 2022. (Sergey Bobok/AFP via Getty Images)

Johnson said Putin has “gravely miscalculated.”

“In his abhorrent assault on a sovereign nation, he has underestimated the extraordinary fortitude of the Ukrainian people and the unity and resolve of the free world in standing up to his barbarism.”

Later, a Downing Street spokesman told reporters, “No one can be in any doubt that what we’re seeing daily, almost hourly now, are horrific acts that would certainly appear to be war crimes.”

The spokesman confirmed it was the first time Number 10 had explicitly stated that view.

Russia Attacks Ukraine
Ukrainian serviceman cross the destroyed bridge in Irpin, Ukraine, on March 1, 2022. (Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images)

Earlier in the day, the prime minister spoke to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, promising further support and weapons for the forces resisting Russian aggression.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said Johnson condemned the “abhorrent attacks on Ukraine in the recent hours and days.”

“Sharing his disgust at the attacks on Ukraine, the prime minister said the UK was doing everything possible to support the Ukrainian people and their resistance,” she said.

UK government officials fear the Russian leader will unleash even greater force against Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities in the coming days.

According to the latest intelligence update from Britain’s Ministry of Defence, “heavy Russian artillery and air strikes have continued to target built-up areas,” primarily focused on the cities of Kharkiv, Kyiv, Mariupol, and Chernihiv.

Talking to “BBC Breakfast,” UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said Putin “seems to know no limit to how much violence” he is prepared to use to achieve his aims.

Wallace said Russian forces could lay siege to Ukraine’s major cities.

“That’s one of the Russian doctrines, which is effectively surround a city, bombard it indiscriminately, and then eventually close in on a population that they hope to have broken, and indeed take over what’s left of the city,” he said.

Wallace warned that an occupying force would face the kind of insurgency faced by the Soviets in Afghanistan or the West in Iraq.

“Invading a country with overwhelming force is one thing, occupying a people of 44 million who don’t want you in it is a very different thing.”

PA Media contributed to this report.