Assessing U.N. involvement: Experts answer viewers’ war questions

Russia At War

(NewsNation) — Russia said Thursday it had taken control of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.

As the conflict nears a second month, President Joe Biden is committing to an $800 million military aid package and plans to ask Congress for additional funding to support the Ukrainian military.

Marty Ford, a NewsNation viewer from New Jersey, served in the Vietnam War and came from a lineage of veterans. His dad, brother, and uncles have all served.

Niall Stanage, a White House columnist with The Hill, joined “Morning in America” to answer his questions about the Russia-Ukraine war.

So many of the images from the war have moved people around the country, including Ford. He said, “The elders remind me of my paternal grandmother, who was a potato farmer there and escaped in the early 1900s When there was a terrible crisis in the country.”

Q: Why hasn’t the UN done more in brokering peace?

Stanage said he thinks everyone shares “the horror of imagery” that everyone is seeing. However, he also said there are two separate issues — the war crimes issue and United Nations intervention.

“In terms of war crimes — it’s not, perhaps, unfortunately, just realizing that war crimes have taken place. It’s trying to prove who is directly culpable for them. The United Nations, the International Criminal Court, are reluctant to prosecute individual soldiers on the ground, so it’s trying to prove a chain of command,” Stanage said.

He continued: “As far as direct intervention with, for example, peacekeepers that would come through the UN Security Council, Russia has a permanent seat on the Security Council, along with the other four other major nations, including the U.S. and Russia is obviously not going to ally U.N. troops in against its own forces.”

Q: Many people, including President Joe Biden, have used genocide to describe Russian attacks against the Ukrainian people.

The Mariupol City Council says as many as 9,000 civilians could be buried in mass graves in the village of Manhush outside Mariupol. “We need to stop the genocide by any means possible,” Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko said Friday.

Do we know if that word has now become politicized or that it’s an actual current term?

Stanage said that the term is used a lot in general accounts of the war, but there is a specific meaning.

“Via the International Criminal Court, it refers to an attempt to destroy in whole or in part, a national or ethnic or religious group. So in legal terms, it has a specific meaning, and there has been some back and forth. For example, the United States, which does believe genocide is going on, and some European nations that have been reluctant to use that term,” Stanage explained.

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Watch the full interview in the video player above.

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