Letters to the Editor: What more evidence is needed to charge Putin with war crimes?

Volodymyr Zelensky walks with soldiers carrying guns
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is accompanied by soldiers during a visit to Bucha, the scene of alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces.
(Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)
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To the editor: The International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Netherlands, with about 900 staffers, is still investigating whether Russian President Vladimir Putin and his generals may have committed war crimes in Ukraine. (“Biden calls for war-crimes trial of Putin after mass graves found around Ukraine capital,” April 4)

Apparently, invading an independent nation on three occasions; bombing and indiscriminately shelling civilian targets for weeks, thereby killing many civilians, including children; having tanks fire on civilians; cutting off food, water, electricity and heat from cities and starving people; obstructing by force those seeking to flee; mining densely populated areas; and kidnapping Ukrainians to Russia to be used as bargaining hostages are not yet quite yet enough to result in arrest warrants being issued.

Perhaps the ICC should issue a list of what is yet missing for it to proceed.

Les Weinstein, Los Angeles


The writer is an attorney and former trial counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice in international cases.


To the editor: Where have we evolved as a species in the global society of “mankind,” where one man decides to carry out the mass murder of innocent civilians, and no other country in the world does anything to stop the slaughter?

Blaine Ziolkowski, Thousand Oaks


To the editor: The imagery coming out of Ukraine is grotesque and we all have reason to be outraged. But terms like “war atrocities” are obfuscatory qualifications.

War is the crime. The etiquette of war is murdering the opposition.

Wars aren’t fought with soldiers facing off on empty battlefields. War is tanks rolling into the heart of a civilization where any man, woman or child opposing the occupying army is met with deadly force. War by its nature leads to horrendous abuses under the color of authority.

America is no moral compass here. We invaded Iraq under false pretenses. We covered up massacres in Vietnam, and more recently, former President Trump pardoned war crimes in Iraq.


Parsing war behavior presumes that some acts of war are in themselves acceptable. War is the hell that needs to be internationally outlawed. Putin committed his crime the minute he sent his war machine into Ukraine.

Robert Fox, Los Angeles


To the editor: So we read that President Biden and U.S. allies are considering additional sanctions against Russia because of the atrocities in Ukraine.

Wait a minute. I thought we were already imposing maximum sanctions. Russia has bombed hospitals, destroyed buildings, violated agreements, bombed exit paths, and cut off food, water, electricity and heat to civilians.

And we are still not imposing maximum sanctions? How much more does Russia have to do before its actions warrant the full set of economic sanctions?

Robert Schechter, Los Angeles