Putin has already carried out war crimes – Boris Johnson

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

At Prime Minister’s Questions, he said bombing innocent civilians “already fully qualifies as a war crime”.

He was responding to the Scottish National Party’s Ian Blackford, who called for Mr Putin to be prosecuted, reports BBC.

Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky has already accused Russia of war crimes after air strikes on the country’s second city, Kharkiv.

A week in to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, attacks on key cities have intensified, with fighting raging in the north, east and south.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson described the tactics used by the Russian military under orders from Mr Putin as “barbaric and indiscriminate”.

“With every passing hour, the world is witnessing the horrors of Putin’s war in Ukraine,” said the SNP’s Westminster leader Mr Blackford. He called for Mr Putin to be prosecuted for the “full range” of war crime charges available.

Mr Johnson replied: “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.

“I know that the ICC prosecutor is already investigating, and I am sure the whole House will support that.”

On Monday, the office of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said it would seek court approval to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Asked about Mr Johnson’s remarks after PMQs, Downing Street said possible war crimes were occurring daily in Ukraine.

Mr Johnson’s official spokesman agreed the Russian attack on the Babyn Yar holocaust memorial in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and the targeting of apartment blocks constituted war crimes.

The spokesman said: “Obviously, formally it will be for a criminal court to make that ruling but I think 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.”