War Crimes in Ukraine

Nadin Brzezinski
3 min readJun 1, 2022

While international researchers are in places like Bucha and Irpin accounting for the war crimes, now we have a second front of this. It’s Russian troops, who are admitting to those questioning them to these. Given the nature of the crimes, it’s not surprising and reveals a nation that is carrying out methodical genocide. These are not a few bad apples.

We also have evidence that some of these crimes were not ordered by the military chain of command, but by a political officer. Vladimir Putin created a political directorate to ensure the political education of soldiers, as well as loyalty and patriotism back in 2018.

The Zampolit (political officer) ordered troops to open fire on civilians. This particular soldier, I did black out his face since under the Geneva Conventions we are not supposed to show POWs, and his lieutenant tried to protect civilians.

The order was reinforced by a Lt. Colonel, and of course, obeyed.

The second story is far more damming. It points to the systemic nature of the crimes and the forward planning in them. In other words, the Wansee conference comes to mind.

Whether the contract soldiers now sign contains those implicit orders is a good question. If it does, this is systemic genocide, with a paper trail. Given how performative legal Russian society is, it’s actually not a surprise.

However, this speaks to intent by the Russian state and should be evidence in any war crimes tribunal.

One thing about the Nuremberg standard. Armies require troops to over orders. The lowest ranks usually can get away with the following orders, because a buck private is supposed to say yes sir three bags full, and salute the trash can.

However, this stops with junior officers, such as a junior lieutenant, the lowest officer rank in the Russian military, or junior sergeants in the enlisted ranks. So very few military personnel will be able to say this.

Even less, in my mind, if you chose to sign a…

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Nadin Brzezinski

Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game. You can find me at CounterSocial, Mastodon and rarely FB