'These are the acts of a war criminal,' Sajid Javid says over Putin’s war in Ukraine

21 March 2022, 08:14

By Asher McShane

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said Putin's repeated strikes on civilian targets in Ukraine "are the acts of a war criminal."

Speaking to Nick Ferrari on Breakfast on LBC, Mr Javid condemned Putin's actions but stopped short of directly calling him a war criminal, saying it would have to be a matter for the International Criminal Court in the Hague.

Mr Javid said: "I’m appalled by the atrocities that are unfolding in Ukraine.

Read more: Ukraine rejects Putin's order to surrender besieged Mariupol as fighting engulfs city

Read more: Boris 'wants to visit Kyiv' as security officials 'have kittens over the idea'

"As far as I’m concerned these are the acts of a war criminal. How he’s held to account for that, that will be a really really important job for the international criminal court.

"I was pleased to see that last week my colleague the Deputy Prime Minister went out to the Hague to speak to the chief prosecutor there."

Politicians have spoken out in support of a Nuremberg-style trial for Putin.

Gordon Brown and Sir John Major have proposed a new international tribunal to be set up to investigate Putin's actions.

They are among 140 academics, lawyers and politicians to sign a petition calling for a legal system modelled on the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals after World War Two.

US President Joe Biden last week called Putin a war criminal for the first time.

The Kremlin denounced the comments as "unacceptable and unforgiveable rhetoric".

Other leaders to accuse Russia of carrying out war crimes include Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Mr Johnson has asked Whitehall officials if he can visit the besieged Ukrainian capital Kyiv to support Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

It comes as further attacks were happening across Ukraine, with a shopping mall flattened in Kyiv by Russian strikes, with civilians left buried under rubble.

Ukraine has rejected Putin's demand to surrender the stricken city of Mariupol.

"There can be no question of any surrender, laying down of arms," Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

"We have already informed the Russian side about this."

The Russian MoD earlier also appealed to the authorities of Mariupol, saying they are either "with their people, or with the bandits".

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