Boris Johnson accuses Vladimir Putin of ‘war crimes’ after targeting Shoah memorial

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Boris Johnson accuses Vladimir Putin of ‘war crimes’ after targeting Shoah memorial

Prime minister condemned Russia's 'abhorrent assault on a sovereign nation' including the Babyn Yar site in Kyiv

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

MPs in the House of Commons, London, give a standing ovation to Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK Vadym Prystaiko who was sitting in the public gallery. Picture date: Wednesday March 2, 2022.
MPs in the House of Commons, London, give a standing ovation to Ambassador of Ukraine to the UK Vadym Prystaiko who was sitting in the public gallery. Picture date: Wednesday March 2, 2022.

Boris Johnson has accused Vladimir Putin of committing a “war crime”  during his invasion of Ukraine – including Russian  strikes that damaged the Babyn Yar Holocaust memorial in Kyiv.

Speaking during PMQs on Wednesday, the Prime Minister condemned Russia’s “abhorrent assault on a sovereign nation”.

He added: “What we have seen already from Vladimir Putin’s regime, in the use of the munitions they have been dropping on innocent civilians, in my view already fully qualifies as a war crime.”

The PM’s spokesperson later confirmed he would consider Tuesday’s Russian missile attack on a Ukrainian television transmitter in Kyiv that killed five people and also caused damage in the adjacent Babi Yar area amongst acts he classed as 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.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford had earlier called for Putin to “face justice in The Hague” . He said the Russian leader to be prosecuted for the “full range” of war crime charges available.

At the start of PMQs, MPs gave a standing ovation in support of the Ukrainian ambassador, who was watching from the public gallery.

For Labour Sir Keir Starmer asked Keir Starmer today asked “why on earth” Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich is not facing sanctions as he had a”public association with corrupt activity and practices”.

Speaking in Parliament, where he cannot be sued for libel, Starmer said: “We must stand up to Putin and those who prop up his regime.

“Roman Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea FC and various other high-value assets in the UK.

“He’s a person of interest to the Home Office because of his links to the Russian state and his public association with corrupt activity and practices.

“Last week the Prime Minister said Abramovich is facing sanctions. He later corrected the record to say he isn’t. Well, why on earth isn’t he?”
Johnson replied “it’s not appropriate for me to comment on individual cases at this stage”

Reports on Wednesday suggested the Chelsea chief is looking to sell the club.

Jewish News revealed on Monday  Abramovich is trying to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine.

A spokesperson for Abramovich added: “Considering what is at stake, we would ask for your understanding as to why we have not commented on neither the situation as such nor his involvement.”

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