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"Every potential aggressor should be warned": Zelenskyy explains the importance of punishing Russia for crimes during the conference in The Hague

Oleh TymchenkoPolitics
"Every potential aggressor should be warned": Zelenskyy explains the importance of punishing Russia for crimes during the conference in The Hague. Source: Office of the President

On Tuesday, April 2, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke at a conference in The Hague on Russia's responsibility for crimes in Ukraine. He emphasized that weapons provide physical protection, but it is justice that restores a sense of security in life.

The video was posted on the President's Telegram channel. He noted that justice is the line from which the movement towards a lasting peace can begin.

"I thank you for your unwavering faith in justice. Justice is the line from which the movement to lasting peace can begin. Weapons provide physical protection, but it is justice that restores the sense of security to the lives that were protected by the power of weapons. And a sense of predictability in all global relations. Every potential aggressor must know what awaits them if they destroy the peace. It is justice that can ensure this," the President said.

Zelenskyy noted that two days ago he visited Bucha, a city that has become a symbol of Russian aggression in front of the whole world.

"All of you remember what happened on the streets of Bucha when the Russian occupiers were driven out. You remember how many bodies of dead people were left there and what it was like. You remember what was revealed when we began to find mass graves of tortured Ukrainians," he emphasized.

Two years have passed, and we still haven't even managed to find out the names of all those killed by Russian troops: there are still unmarked graves in Bucha. The same applies to many of our other towns and villages that were liberated from Russian occupation.

"Although different towns and villages are gradually recovering, there is a special feeling in each of them. It is the same for all of them: the feeling that there is still a lot of work to be done for the sake of justice, for the sake of evil to finally lose both physically, in reality, on the battlefield, and in people's hearts. So that everyone who comes to power in Russia after Putin knows that justice is stronger than the walls of the Kremlin. Only our joint work can ensure this," the president explained.

Zelenskyy added that together with partners, they managed to create a real network of responsibility.

He thanked the Netherlands for their leadership in establishing a special tribunal for Russia's crimes. The Ukrainian leader also noted the countries and leaders, international organizations, public figures, and representatives of the legal community who support the global work to investigate Russian war crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice.

"From the political and military leadership of Russia to ordinary perpetrators... I am convinced that the activities of the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant for Putin and is working to bring full justice to all those affected by this war, both adults and children, are important for the whole world. We are also creating very specific, systemic tools to compensate for the damage caused by this war. Together with many countries and leaders, we are working to confiscate Russian assets and profits from them," Zelenskyy said.

"All this should work for the people whom Putin wanted to destroy with this war. The Register of Losses will also work soon, and it is critical that the Commission for Review of Applications and the Compensation Fund are also established this year as key elements of the planned mechanism for compensation. I ask all of you not to deviate from our common line: the line of justice. I ask you not to slow down. We must do everything possible for the sake of the power of justice so that it gives real strength to our common security from aggression and terror," he added.

In conclusion, the Head of State wished that real peace would return as soon as possible.

"And let those who violate the peace know that they risk ending up in the dock in The Hague," he summarized.

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