March 2, 2022

Cassidy, Hassan Introduce Resolution to Designate Vladimir Putin as a War Criminal

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced a bipartisan resolution to designate Vladimir Putin as a war criminal for his crimes against the Ukrainian people.

“Putin’s war is only to benefit himself at the expense of innocent Ukrainian and Russian lives. Putin is a war criminal and should be recognized as one. We must hold Putin accountable for his unprovoked attacks on the Ukrainian people,” said Dr. Cassidy.

“Putin’s actions – his unprovoked invasion, his murder of innocent Ukrainians, and his violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty – are not that of a president but of a war criminal,” said Senator Hassan. “I urge my colleagues to join me and Senator Cassidy as we send a bipartisan, unequivocal message condemning Putin’s aggression and making clear that the U.S. Senate stands resolute against Putin.”

Read the full resolution here or below.

Whereas, under international law, a war crime is a serious violation of the laws or customs of war as defined by international customary law and international treaties;

Whereas war crimes also include initiating a war of aggression as prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials following World War II and more recently defined in the 2010 amendments to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;

Whereas a war criminal is a person who has planned, ordered, or carried out an act during the conduct of a war that violates accepted international rules of war; and

Whereas Articles 26 and 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, done at Vienna May 23, 1969, state, “Every treaty in force is binding upon the parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith. … A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as justification for its failure to perform a treaty.”: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that—

(1) President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation has committed war crimes as defined by the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and other international bodies by—

(A) initiating an unprovoked war;

(B) violating the sovereignty of Ukraine repeatedly;

(C) targeting civilian infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and apartment buildings, militarily;

(D) targeting government facilities unrelated to legitimate military objectives; and

(E) attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government led by President Volodymyr Zelensky; and

(2) since President Vladimir Putin is the Commander in Chief (equivalent) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and as such was involved in the planning of the invasion of Ukraine, he is culpable of launching a war of aggression and the systematic commission of war crimes during that war by Russian troops.