In December 2022, ARC expert Professor Borys Babin gave a detailed interview to the “Chornomorska TV and Radio Company”,in “In Sight” program was the well-known journalist and public figure Dmytro Simanskyi. We are publishing the text version of this dialogue on current events and the situation in the Crimea at the end of 2022.
Dmytro Simanskyi (DS): Can I start with a strange question? And you won’t explain what Konstantinov’s “strategy” consists of, when he says and writes some absolutely crazy things, like: “we will take Odessa tomorrow”. Is this a type of Medvedev-like “cosplay”?
Boris Babin (BB): Here I have one hypothesis. I understand that this old swindler and…
BB: He is a fraud, but his brain works and he perfectly understands that his “chair” in Simferopol is temporary one. Next, there are several options: for him, of course, the most “interesting” option is to be somewhere in Moscow, but preferably not in the role of Viktor Fedorovich Yanukovych, you know somewhere there…
BB: An outlaw who does not decide anything, and prays to God that he wakes up in the morning not as a “Novichok”, but in some, you know, force, structure, clan, whatever it may be. And since today and probably after the deoccupation of the Crimea, the government of Moscow, the government of these territories, it will like such rhetoric, then perhaps Mr. Konstantinov is simply gaining, as he believes, criminal “political points” for the future. That is, you know how Mr. Rogozin did it.
DS: There in general, such a thick mass of insanity, there is Kovitidi, there is Tsekov, that’s all there…
BB: There are different questions here, because Ms. Kovitidi, Ms. Tsekov are already, as they say, “discarded cards”. They are criminal so-called “senators”. The occupiers sent them to “honorary retirement”. You know how it was in the USSR, a kind of “inspection of the General Staff”…
DS: Yes, the General Inspection of the General Staff.
BB: … a person who is completely “chubby”, then he goes to the inspection. Similarly, here, if they see that it is dangerous to send these people even to the criminal collaborator “governments”, well, it is purely physically dangerous, they send them to the so-called “shacks”, where they simply have to “thump” something. but without the general risks for the aggressor himself, and therefore, of course, they “thump”, they are fed for it. But I would pay less attention to these criminal “comrades”, even when some so-called “bills” were promoted through them…
DS: Wait, I’m not the one to pay attention, to me it’s just like “observation of flora and fauna”, there is Poklonska, who “got lost” somewhere, without “getting to Cape Verde”.
BB: Well, the situation is a bit different there, there “insidious plans of revenge are hatched”, that is…
DS: To whom?
BB: Well, to whom? She, nevertheless, believes that she was “significantly offended” by all these stories. Well, look, she did not become the so-called “ambassador”…
DS: and also “Rossotrudnichestvo”…
BB: “Rossotrudnichestvo” also failed, Mr. Goblin-Aksyonov was not defeated. Well, life is not good at all, and all that remains is gossip, Belbek and a network of telegram channels. Well, let these criminal, as they say, “monsters”, eat each other, but for now, you know, I wouldn’t bet a penny on Poklonska’s “prospects”.
DS: Once again, I’m just so surprised by the type of Konstantinov on a horse with a saber.
BB: You know, there is “another problem” there, it affects all of them, I said that they are not stupid, although they are criminals, but still, there is this general approach when people start talking about America, I don’t know, Hungary, Serbia, there, some China…
BB: Yes, yes, “geopolitics”. I look and think, it is interesting whether this Konstantinov was once before 2014 in this long-suffering Serbia.
DS: I was there, there is no object…
BB: No, I’m talking about something else, whether does he know the language, culture, or “googled” something there. But still, a person writes that there is such a thing as “la la la”. Well, it’s an approach, you know, it’s a hypocrisy, when “what you see is what you sing” in complete detachment from reality.
DS: Shoigu flew in a helicopter “over the front”. Then they saw that this “ancestor” was between Armyansk and Dzhankoy. Why are they digging trenches between Armyansk and Dzhankoy?
BB: “To saw is to saw”
DS: Well, tell me how. Well, why are they digging trenches between Armyansk and Dzhankoy, in the steppe, on the salt flats?
BB: As far as I’m concerned, this is, first of all, a “self-soothing” action, they should show some “busy activity”. In addition, if we take the so-called all kinds of “fortifications”, that is, concrete additions, and the like, this is still a criminal “business”.
DS: Because they, they mold them in the “factories” of the same Konstantinov.
BB: Because there is a lot of money here, and, by the way, in these trenches, the money’s “sawing” is huge, due to the fact that, although only on paper, they are dug supposedly “for money”, there are also “techniques and diesel fuel” and like there 100 thousand per day “every digger” is written off. Well, you know the story about “a digger and a half”.
DS: One and a half diggers.
BB: That’s why here – the more trenches there are, the more some of the criminals in Moscow and occupied Simferopol launder money, I’m absolutely not surprised by this.
DS: In Chornomorske, they dug up on the beach, the whole of Chornomorske’s population goes on excursions there.
BB: Well, they have separate points there, on the Crimea’s West coast, where they started to dig something…
DS: Once again, on the beach, in Chornomorske?
BB: Yes, yes, both in Molochne and in Vitine settlements, then they say that it is “for training”. Well, you know, there used to be trampolines on the beaches, there was a “hot smell”, and now there are other interesting “beach” entertainments.
DS: It has a weird feeling of this weird schizophrenia.
BB: This is and is a simple explanation, because the occupied Crimea is a very painful issue for the aggressor state, especially for its governing regime. In fact, the current war can be called the second Crimean War. Because in fact, its main subject, and the aggressor state does not hide this from the very beginning, is the “Crimean issue”, it is the criminal plans of the russian federation and their implementation.
And therefore, the painful attention that the Kremlin pays to the Crimea itself, and not to its own Rostov there, Belgorod, Kursk and so on, namely to the occupied peninsula, leads to this schizophrenia, and that is why there is a separate example. There was such an interesting question: the Kremlin said that “everyone” there, or not every “veteran” of criminal aggression “will receive a land plot”.
DS: In the Crimea.
BB: And then the most interesting part begins. This is “downgraded” to the so-called “local level”. And then, they “thinked” there a little, as if to get out of this “unprofitable situation” and “adopted” the so-called, fake “law”, “republican” one.
DS: I missed it.
BB: In this fictitious “law”, the collaborators write that they will allegedly “give land”, but, of course, they will not give anything to anyone. People were put, you know, allegedly “in line”. That is, there are some kind of fake “queues for obtaining land”, so-called. Well, these were “put in the queue” as well. That is, on the one hand, “they washed their hands”, they say “we fulfilled the instruction”…
DS: As they say: in the meantime, either the donkey dies or the padishah.
BB: But “they brought it down to the local level”, because, for example, “where did you get this two hundred [killed] one” from the village of Vitine, then “let them look for land in the village, it’s not our concern”. Well, from the point of view of the criminal “bureaucracy”, they allegedly “confused” the problem, and at the same time declared that these “burial plots” will be provided only to those soldiers of the aggressor who were so-called “registered” in the Crimea, until February 24. And not to “everyone”.
DS: That is, if they were brought there from Buryatia…
BB: They say that “they won’t give”, “they don’t want to give”. And then it was more interesting, when the Kremlin found out about this, as they say, “rebellion on the knees”, there was an angry so-called “order” of putin that: “No, to everyone!”. And then the real schizophrenia began, because even absolutely chauvinistic Russians, so-called “analysts” and “experts” themselves are forced to ask how it will be physically. Because they already have at least 300 thousand and maybe 500 of these criminal “best fighters”.
DS: With the new “mobilized”, it’s about one and a half meters to each one.
BB: Yes, that’s right. And this simply shows that, in fact, the Kremlin is so detached from reality that it does not even solve a simple arithmetical problem about “300 thousand earth diggers”, does not understand how much space is needed in the Crimea to “bury” them. The same chauvinistic “experts” write that the Kremlin is thinking in the delusions of ancient Rome, as if it is “giving away the land to the legions”.
DS: All right, let’s get to serious issues. Comment on the fact that there are no borders in Russia now.
BB: Well, in fact, Russia has borders, they are recognized by international law, no one will give the Russians the opportunity to abandon them, no matter how much they want it. It can’t be done unilaterally, as a result of the war, it is also can’t be done. Accordingly, the international borders of Russia are defined. This is the border with Ukraine, which existed since 1991.
DS: Yes, in the 1997 Treaty.
BB: In addition, as far as I know, a draft law on the denunciation of the 2003 Sea of Azov Treaty is currently registered in the Ukraines’ Verkhovna Rada.
DS: We will share fairly.
BB: We will share, as international law says. That is, the twelve-mile zone, the exclusive economic zone, we have the starting lines for this, they were established in 1992. So, there are international borders, and what they are criminally inventing, they have been inventing since 2014. Similarly, in 2014, when they criminally announced the annexation of Crimea, they also falsely said that Crimea “borders somewhere, with someone, somehow”. But, as a lawyer, I can already say that their approach is reminiscent of the event when, remember, a hole in the wall was drilled on the international space station…
DS: Yes, and oxygen comes out for some reason. For some reason, oxygen comes out.
BB: In the same way, they “rolled a hole”, but not on their own internationally recognized borders, because they cannot change them, but on their own regulatory system. Because, if you start to regulate with “laws” fakes, non-existing “territories”, non-existing “citizens”, it is the same as regulating in law, you know, relations between demons and some archangels there.
Those issues are currently fake; I will give one example, Russian legislation does not provide for a procedure for ending mobilization. It does not exist there, this procedure, that is, when they announced this criminal “mobilization”…
DS: “A revolution has a beginning, a revolution has no end”.
BB: Yes, and one researcher pointed out that the Russians have such a somewhat suicidal approach to their own history, they traditionally glorify their actual military defeats, and currently we see that even their laws do not provide for any kind of “victory” after mobilization. Because, if they don’t have a demobilization procedure, what does it mean – that someone else will conduct it for them.
DS: The entity that will change.
BB: Either an entity or some international structure. Or the occupying forces in the Russian Federation will deal with it. But I am talking about another issue. Look, Russia has criminally declared the city of Zaporizhzhia as allegedly its “territory”, where there was never a single day of Russian occupation, where hundreds of thousands of people live, where thousands of legal entities are registered. Do you imagine that they “crammed” this criminal delusion into their regulatory and legal system?
DS: But, a few days ago, they passed a “resolution” according to which a citizen of Ukraine “loses his citizenship” at the moment of writing a statement that he “wants to become a citizen of Russia”.
BB: I can explain several factors: firstly, in them, again, in the occupied territories of the mainland, there is a kind of “collapse”, a vacuum. Because they criminally proclaimed this attempt at annexation there, but in fact they did not even organize any criminal “management system” there. Therefore, they cannot solve the criminal “task” that they wanted to solve from the very beginning of the occupation, that is, “passportization of the population”. They talked about it since the spring, but the result is “on the scoreboard”.
And they understand that they physically cannot even hand out these criminal “passports”, so they will now “draw numbers” regardless of who and what they “wrote” or “signed”. This is the first situation.
The second situation, for them, is currently very important, Tussia has become a transit territory for the escape of Ukrainian citizens from the war zone in a third country. If a person cannot leave the occupied Melitopol or Berdyansk, their only option is to go through the aggressor state, directly to the east or through the occupied Crimea. Then there are options, and here the aggressor is faced with thousands of situations, especially, for example, women, children, well, what reasons can the Russians to invent for not releasing a Ukrainian grandmother from Russia to somewhere in Georgia. They are constantly inventing something, but every day thousands of people want to leave.
And now they will declare them as a “group” as if they were allegedly “citizens of Russia”, because a person, somewhere, put a “tick” at any “crossing” or “control”. But the Russian punishers will now, criminally, obviously, seize Ukrainian documents from her, and say “go get it done and come back”. And what does “go arrange” mean. As soon as a person associates himself with any system of the occupation “administration” or with powers on the territory of Russia itself, he is already taken “on a hook” and taken somewhere else in Ulan-Ude and told: “now work here for two years at the factory”.
DS: By the way, do you know about the fate of those people who were “evacuated” by the occupiers from the Kherson Region.
BB: There are some sad stories. First, we have been monitoring this since March. There were very negative facts related to the so-called “volunteers” from the Crimea and Sevastopol, who very actively began, well, frankly, here it was only the beginning of the occupation, the first weeks, they began to kidnap children under the cover of Russian troops, and frankly speaking, for the tasks of black transplantology.
DS: Kherson children?
BB: Kherson and Melitopol.
DS: You have confirmation, it is very strong…
BB: Yes, there were publications, and these people who, on the one hand, promote themselves on the fact that they “helped children”, on the other hand, are enlightened in the schemes of transplantology. Well, simple logic, a person gives out candy to children on camera in Kherson, and her “business” is related to organ donation. Well, excuse me, is this a logical question? Unfortunately.
Then, a mass phenomenon began, it was later, when they began to be taken out already, as they say, “by alive force”. Well, in fact, this is exactly what the Nazis did. What did they do, remember, some children for blood, then all children for labor in Germany. That is, they have the same Nazi approach. They began to take out young people en masse, and this peak was somewhere, August-September, “undercovered”, by the way. They didn’t talk about “evacuation” yet, they lied about “rest”. They come and say: “we will take your child to Yalta or Anapa” or somewhere else “for free”.
DS: A person who has been under occupation for several months, under fire.
BB: And then they say: “You know, it’s dangerous for you here, we won’t return your child. If you disagree, there is a man standing there with a grenade launcher and go complain”.
That is why it became a mass phenomenon, only in occupied Yevpatoria, several thousand people were thus accumulated in children’s camps, and then chaos began, because they did it, and they did not know what to do with them next. And, just in case, they tried to push these to local criminal “administrations”, they also transfer it to the local population, i.e., in fact, Crimean residents themselves collect money for these children’s socks.
BB: Well, what is left for them. These are several thousand people in Yevpatoria. But the situation is different on the Southern coast of the Crimea, where the occupiers took away the families of collaborators who went to criminal cooperation with the aggressor in Kherson.
DS: But I heard that the collaborators were “relocated” to Henichesk, to Arabatka Split.
BB: Well, they should simulate the existence of a criminal “administration”. So they transported them to Henichesk. And why Henichesk, because it is relatively far from the front line. In addition, if we take such statistics before the mass invasion, then from the entire Kherson region, I am not saying that the most pro-russian ones, because the Kherson region is very pro-Ukrainian, but a certain number of collaborators were present in Henichesk, let’s say so.
DS: Yes, it was traditional.
BB: And that’s why, as they say, they brought this fake “government” to this “old yeast” on all this old Russia’s agency, and here one problem is purely logistical, if you look at the map of Kherson Region, even the part that is still Russia-occupied. And to find Henichesk there, it is difficult to really “manage” something from this “bear corner”. They don’t “manage”, it’s all a fake.
DS: But the Russian government and Crimean collaborators say that on the order of Putin, they will build on the Arabatska Split…
BB: “Garden city”
DS: “Garden city” because “there is a very good climate and an excellent transport infrastructure”. Are they still “stumbling”? Maybe they themselves were never from Arabatka?
BB: I think that right here, someone with the rudiments of intelligence is playing on these imperial complexes that we talked about, they come to the “kings-fathers” in the Kremlin and say: “You know, let’s make a garden city here so that everyone surprised, give a hundred billion trillion”.
Well, they continue to “master” them, if there was no Arabatka, they would be “mastered” on Biryuchy Island, etc.
DS: Well, wait, which city is on Biryuchy Island. Well, what a city on Arabatka, there is Sivash on one side, and a swamp on the other.
BB: They don’t care.
DS: There are swamps here, and there, and sand and sagebrush in between.
BB: They are exclusively interested in “funding” and a criminal propaganda “picture”. Somewhere there, they will be able to put a “longhouse” in the form of a “future five-story building”.
DS: In Strelkove village?
BB: Why not, what difference does it make to them where to “spend money”, even on Easter Island, if someone allowed them there, I repeat, it is just PR, criminal, with the theft of resources.
Besides, how could those to “sell it to the Kremlin”? The criminal idea could be this: “we understand that sooner or later Ukraine will de-occupy Kherson Region, we understand that Ukraine will de-occupy Henichesk, and maybe we will keep them on the Arabatska Split”. Planting another clown in the occupied Strilkove, and saying that “this is the Kherson region”, well, which they wanted to annex illegally – this can be a criminal fake plan.
DS: You recently wrote a column about the resolution of the Sejm of Poland on the status of Russia as a state that supports terrorism. Why is this important?
BB: The fact is that there are several, currently, recognitions of these criminal aggressor’s acts of the. Starting with the occupation of the Crimea, ending with the current events taking place in international law. First of all, this is the line of genocide, this is the recognition of the Holodomor as genocide, pay attention, it is not just like that, because in these resolutions…
DS: Germany is the loudest of the last.
BB: Yes, because in these resolutions, of the European Parliament and others, there is a clear line of connection between the events of the 20th century and the current aggression. Directly speaking…
DS: About connection.
BB: Yes, and they do not hide that it is this connection that prompts them to condemn the practice of the aggressor. That is, this is the first line of genocide issues. The second line is precisely the line of recognition of the Russian state as a sponsor of terrorism. It has already been recognized by the Baltic countries, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Netherlands, well, from the international structure, at least the Council of Europe, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and, it seems, the European Parliament.
Here, in this dimension, this recognition is more, you know, legally dangerous for Кussia, because if we talk about genocide, it is a terrible crime, but genocide is committed by certain persons. And let’s just put ourselves in the place of some Russian banker who launders money somewhere in the Virgin Islands. That is, he will always say “How am I connested with?”
DS: Did you see that a study was published yesterday about the Deputy Minister of defense of Russia, Timur Ivanov, and his wife.
BB: Well, interesting stories, but if the second situation, terrorism, if the state is recognized as a sponsor of terrorism, then this is already a “stigma” on everyone. Here the banker will not say: “What’s wrong personally with me?”, because in response he will hear “wait, this is such a thing, we have to check you”.
DS: All transactions are on stop.
BB: Yes, everything should become more transparent, they will be more carefully monitored in third countries. That is, as they say, it “cuts” the possibilities of finance, so-called, criminal “investments”, cash circulation, withdrawal of capital, activities of Russian corporations abroad, even in those jurisdictions that tolerate them, this is very painful for Russia.
But, in fact, I also liked Poland, that this is Polish know-how, they also recognized Russia as a pirate state.
DS: Oh, yes. I also wanted to talk about pirates, there is a separate story. It’s actually from somewhere in the 18th century.
BB: Ever since the Roman Empire. I understand that here, precisely, the Poles, you know, they took the historical and legal branch, but the hint, the hint is very simple, because pirates, just as the ancient Romans said, are enemies of humanity, and in fact, maybe a little hidden, but Poland declared Russia an enemy of humanity.
DS: “Wagner” group and its recognition as a terrorist organization, is this unnecessary, why is it necessary to talk about it.
BB: This is not too small, since the “Wagner” persons are not only criminally involved in aggression, they are also an instrument of expansion of Russia, in particular in Africa.
DS: Well, so what.
BB: Well, they are not only “just criminal cases”, but also “gray ones”, there are businesses there, there are like corporations, if you say that some corporation…
DS: Maybe it is important before the discussion about voting at the UN General Assembly?
BB: I think there is a practical approach here, because pay attention, at the moment, Moscow and its puppets of Simferopol are saying a lot by example about “French colonialism”, they “began to condemn” it.
DS: Well, maybe they are in Mali, there in Chad.
BB: Yes, there they constantly “copy” something. Here, as they say, the phantom pains of the Kremlin, they significantly exceed the previous versions of this empire, they are very significantly “spilling” in Africa.
There are several factors, it is personal enrichment, and here, precisely, the corporations of the same Prigozhin from “Wagner”, they play a huge criminal role. There are also purely “practical issues” of the aggressor – this is criminal pressure on France. Because they could put pressure on Germany through gas.
France practically does not consume Russian gas, it is a country that at one time built its energy on nuclear power plants. Most of the generation of the French are nuclear power plants, you won’t scare them with cold weather.
DS: Moreover, of its own construction. Not American, not Russian ones.
BB: Own construction, but the fuel comes from these former colonies of France, where the Russians are currently “scrambling”. The criminal “Wagner” persons, that are Russia-used for looking such a “weak spot” of the France, where they can take French people, as they say, as hostage.
For example, through supplies of uranium and other raw materials, which France traditionally takes from there. That is, here, in fact, I do not treat these criminal terrorists with disdain, they are not only “cannon fodder”, they are also a tool of Russia in other criminal combinations. And that is why their international assessment as terrorists is important.
DS: But let’s remember, all the same, this next resolution of the UN General Assembly about the Crimea, for this resolution people and countries that support putin in one way or another have decreased, even for the previous resolution in 2021.
BB: There is a long title of the document that talks about the human rights situation in the occupied Crimea and Sevastopol, but here, for this UN resolution, slightly fewer countries actually vote for it than for the previous resolutions that were approved this year, there were several of them, regarding condemnation of Russian aggression against Ukraine as such.
DS: Are these dictators simply afraid of the word “human rights”?
BB: Well, only dictators, let’s say this, many countries in the world, even those that support Ukraine more or less, or at least simply do not want to support Russia, they have certain issues with human rights. And therefore, for them, in general, the topic of human rights is, in principle, the one that requires the least consideration. But, all the same, if we compare with the previous year, then 25 voted against the UN resolution on human rights violations in the Crimea, and now 13 only.
That is, nevertheless, here the issue has changed a little, and these resolutions of the UN General Assembly, they will be approved in the future, until the deoccupation of the Crimea. There, the text is constantly expanding, because it is an “annual” UN resolution.
And in this new one, the abduction of children through the occupied Crimea is condemned. What I said is already in the resolution of the UN General Assembly, these crimes, and it condemns the use of the Russia-occupied Crimea as a springboard for aggression against mainland Ukraine.
That is, this UN resolution is powerful. But precisely in these, as they say, the December Crimean UN resolutions, the monitoring mechanism is the most important. Because, in fact, the UN resolution is, Russia says, allegedly “optional” for the states, although this is not quite the case, but it is mandatory by definition for the UN itself.
And the UN establishes a mechanism.
DS: As UN watches.
BB: UN observes, then the Secretary General provides a report to the UN General Assembly. That is, this is the highest level at which the UN fixes systemic violations of human rights. The UN General Assembly approves next resolutions, but the question is that this UN GS report can be put on the table not only of the General Assembly, but also of the International Criminal Court, of the International Court of Justice and of the European Court of Human Rights. That is de-facto a fact-checking mechanism…
DS: Gathering evidences.
BB: … of collection the evidences, it is very important, because it is the highest level, it is the level of the UN. And they do not lie or manipulate in these reports, everyone knows that.
DS: By the way, about the UN, if we have already climbed into these “thickets”. How serious is the prospect of, for example, expelling the Russians from the Security Council and, in general, transforming the UN Security Council, because the Secretary General is already talking about it.
BB: Well, in general, the question of transformation of the Security Council is an old question, often discussed. Of course, such cynical and criminal actions of russia, as since 2014, and especially now, they intensified these issues. Exactly, the third track, what I said, in addition to the recognition of Russia’s terrorism and the recognition of genocide committed by Russia, is the issue of the UN Security Council. Perhaps, at the national level, a parade of declarations of the illegality of Russia’s presence in the UN Security Council and in the UN in general will begin.
DS: What is the parade? See, the United States come and say, we consider them some kind of “strays” here, how is it?
BB: Well, Ukraine announced it officially…
DS: With all due respect to Ukraine, we are not yet a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
BB: The fact is that this story, you know, is like a nail, a “rusty nail in the leg” of Russians. It is no longer “rewinded” and the question is already “put on the table”. I’m not saying that it will happen tomorrow, but it’s a question of what will happen, you know. In the same way, here, in fact, the question of the “legality” of the so-called presence of Russia both in the UN Security Council and in the UN in general has been raised. It is discussed. In the United States, a bill has been registered in Congress.
DS: Which obligates the USA to “throw” Russia out of the Security Council.
BB: They pointed this question. And this is a position, it has not yet gone through all the American bureaucratic procedures, but it has already been launched. We cannot say that Ukraine is such, you know, an “exception”, no, these processes have begun.
They have two reasons: The first reason is that Russia cynically abuses the “seat” in the UN Security Council, allegedly as “its own”. The second reason is legal, because Russia has no legal reason to have this seat. There are simply none of them.
Pay attention, after the Ukrainian Parliament declared the illegality of Russia’s presence in the UN Security Council and in the UN in general, what Russian said about this matter, what about the Moscow speakers, there Lavrov, Zakharova etc.
DS: I didn’t notice anything.
BB: That’s right, they were silent. As in that old Odessa joke: “How did you react? I reacted very strongly, I fell”. It’s the same here. They are just silent because they just physically don’t have any…
BB: They don’t really have anything. And that’s why they just kept silent, it’s very symptomatic, they don’t do that often, they do it in absolutely hopeless situations.
DS: Another situation that looks hopeless for Russia, and increasingly hopeless or less hopeless, is the formation of a special tribunal. What is being done there, to what extent now, what are the prospects, and when?
BB: This is a very complex political story. As they say, you can talk for hours, why? Because several factors, first of all, do not forget that the Russia itself constantly manipulates the ideas of some special tribunals.
DS: Well, from the last one I remember that they wanted to “judge” the “Azov” personnel in Mariupol.
BB: Well, they are already criminally talking about some “Crimean tribunal”. This could be perceived purely from the point of view of purely psychiatry, but at the same time, Russia, and I know about it, because the ARC successfully opposed it, seeks to pass resolutions on “condemnation of the glorification of Nazism” through the UN General Assembly, and what are they appealing to? On the “spirit of the Nuremberg Tribunal”.
DS: I didn’t know that.
BB: Yes. And why are they interested in it? Well, to put it bluntly, international law has developed over the past decades. It is no longer possible to judge someone exactly as it was in Nuremberg. No, of course it would be nice to see, over there, this putin with this translator in his ear; but we are not hanging anyone at the moment. Today, international procedures have improved.
But at the same time, Russia is constantly trying to revive these narratives of the “trial of the Nazis” for its criminal manipulations. On the other hand, don’t forget the International Criminal Court.
And here a question arises, a key one: do you think that the leadership of the International Criminal Court likes the idea of a special tribunal on issues of their competence. Because we say that the tribunal is about aggression.
DS: What “multiplies” the International Criminal Court…
BB: Well, it doesn’t multiply. Because we are not saying that the tribunal will deal with war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide. This is precisely the function of the International Criminal Court, which it is currently doing
But the question is that the International Criminal Court also deals with aggression, it says: “Yes, we have problems with this, we can’t act at this moment, because there are procedural issues”. But is the position of the International Criminal Court, where there is already a case against the Russians peniding, “not important” to us?
DS: Yes, they work, they report, they are active like that.
BB: They are active. Should we “beat the pots with them”? This is not such an elementary question, is it? Should their position be taken into account, and the Prosecutor of the Court, Mr. Khan…
DS: Isn’t it possible to incorporate?
BB: This is an international agreement. See, any special tribunal would still need an international treaty.
DS: Well, that’s what I’m talking about. Well, let’s take it – denounce that one, sign this one, why not?
BB: No one will do that, because at least people there are already in IC Court, a lot of people have already been convicted there.
But in this, as they say, there is a “ray of hope”. Because, for example, now, when this discussion started, and when in the summer they started saying to the International Criminal Court: “Okay, okay… But do You work in general?!”. And the International Criminal Court…
DS: Started working suddenly!
BB: It started a movement on “Georgian affairs” against Russia. This is a question about the Russian military who participated in the 2008 war. And the fact that they will be convicted of crimes against humanity is not bad, of course, right?
Now the second question: when will there be a first name in ICC Ukraine-related affairs? The first suspects? And, in my opinion, the issue of the special tribunal can be translated into optimism. You can have a discussion: “Okay, dear International Criminal Court! We do not interfere with your powers, you are an independent body. We are asking only about the terms. It’s not so important to us what name you give”. Let’s talk about it!
DS: Interesting conversation, yes. Let’s talk about it separately later.