Putin may be committing war crimes, but do the allegations have any teeth?

The International Criminal Courtroom has opened an investigation into the war in Ukraine as tension mounts to prosecute Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war legal. 

The case towards Putin could come alongside one another speedily as the record of alleged violations grows: the bombing of a maternity medical center, the shelling of civilian targets and an assault on a nuclear power plant that raised the specter of a nuclear disaster in the heart of Europe. 

But a conviction could show elusive. The Worldwide Criminal Courtroom, which the U.S. is not part of, has a track document of 10 convictions about two many years. 

“The very first way that they can construct it — and it may perhaps be enough in this circumstance — they can look at the pattern of the assault,” Stephen Rapp, a previous U.S. ambassador at big for war crimes, told CBS Information senior investigative correspondent Catherine Herridge. 

Rapp, who has designed circumstances versus dictators and sought accountability for genocide, claimed Putin would be found as “an worldwide pariah” if there is a war crimes designation towards him. 

“It also means that he are unable to journey any where, no far more summits, for the reason that he’d be putting himself in danger,” Rapp said. 

Securing justice in the court does not happen swiftly. 

The court docket had to pull the arrest warrant for Libyan chief Muammar al-Gaddafi soon after he was executed by his very own men and women. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad remains in ability approximately a ten years immediately after he allegedly made use of chemical weapons from Syrians. 

Even while the U.S. is not section of the Worldwide Prison Court, a National Protection Council spokesperson instructed CBS Information that the U.S. is by now amassing proof of alleged war crimes and human legal rights abuses that could be utilized in a criminal prosecution. 

The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv called the attack on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear electric power plant a “war crime.” But hrs afterwards, the White Property dialed back again the language. 

“We have not made conclusions, it can be a authorized review and a course of action that goes as a result of at the administration,” White Household Push Secretary Jen Psaki reported. 

Rapp mentioned the bar is “incredibly superior” to show that war crimes have been fully commited, but “specified the intensity of this marketing campaign and the civilian destruction, I imagine that can be formulated in a subject of months.” 

Matthew Kroenig, who labored the Russia and nuclear portfolios for the intelligence community beneath the Bush, Obama and Trump administrations, informed CBS News there is a soaring danger from Russia’s stockpile of decrease-generate weapons identified as tactical nukes. 

“These are weapons that would be utilised not for, say, attacking Washington or New York, but for profitable a struggle on the area in Ukraine,” Kroenig reported. 

Use of tactical nuclear weapons from civilians would be “a war crime of the optimum purchase,” he mentioned. 

This 7 days, intelligence officials warned of a Russian coverage referred to as “escalate to deescalate,” which suggests the use of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield to intimidate an adversary. 

“I assume ahead of he lost the war, he would test to use nuclear weapons to check out to pull victory from the jaws of defeat,” Kroenig mentioned of Putin. “I think the hazard of nuclear war is even now very low. But I imagine the hazard is better now than any time we have witnessed in latest decades.”