The war in Ukraine and the laws of war

Attacks by Russian forces against Ukrainian civilians, schools, hospitals and non-military targets are war crimes under international law.

A school building seen destroyed in an air strike in the town of Merefa, in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, on March 17, 2022. PHOTO: REUTERS
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I want to begin by paying a tribute to a visionary Swiss man, Mr Henry Dunant. In 1859, there was a battle between France and its Italian ally on the one side and Austria on the other. The battle over the struggle for Italian unification was fought in Solferino and won by France and its Italian ally. When the war was over, many wounded soldiers were left to die on the battlefield.

Mr Dunant was appalled by what he saw. He wrote a book, entitled A Memory Of Solferino. The book, published in 1862, aroused the conscience of many of its readers. Mr Dunant and his friends founded the Red Cross in 1863 to help wounded soldiers in an impartial and neutral manner.

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