Whatever Russia’s television propaganda mouthpiece RT might say to try to convince otherwise, there has been widespread revulsion in the civilised world over the destruction of the Syrian city of Aleppo which has been mainly caused by a Russian and Syrian aerial bombardment. The UN Human Rights Council has started to gather evidence in the form of witness statements, photographic and film evidence on the ground for possible war crimes charges. It is expected that a large portion of this evidence will be from aircraft remote sensing and satellite imagery.

UN supplied satellite image of Aleppo before and after bombing in 2013. Courtesy: UK

UN supplied satellite image of Aleppo before and after bombing in 2013. Courtesy: UK

However, whatever this evidence leads to, Russia is likely to veto any action taken by the UN against it. Russia has previously used its UN veto to carry on with its bombing of the city. This, and a general unwillingness of Western democracies to confront Russia – a modern nuclear armed state – means that it is unlikely that any of the participants in the reported atrocities will face justice in the short term.

Nevertheless, while the UN remains powerless for now, if the Putin regime ever does fall from power in Russia (it remains popular given its control of mainstream media in the country) it, and its ally the Assad-regime in Syria, are likely to face war-crimes charges, especially over the use of aerial bombing of the city of Aleppo.

Post Script:  After its actions in Syria and Ukraine, such is the concern over Russia’s new aggressive posture, that its near neighbour Sweden has now put itself on a war footing, preparing its coastal and other defences for attack.

 

Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetov and its air fleet of Sukhoi Su-33 jet fighters and Kamov Ka-17 helicopters, along with the Kirov-class missile battlecruiser, Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great). Courtesy: Norwegian Navy

Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetov and its air fleet of Sukhoi Su-33 jet fighters and Kamov Ka-17 helicopters, along with the Kirov-class missile battlecruiser, Pyotr Velikiy (Peter the Great). Courtesy: Norwegian Navy