Russia and the international community
Sir, – The Russian ambassador Yuri Filatov (June 20th) is concerned about what he called “unsubstantiated” and “outlandish accusation” about President Vladimir Putin by your correspondents but unfortunately for him there is so much evidence, and more emerging everyday of his boss’s wrongdoing that his defence appears risible at best. For example, at the moment Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov is near death on the 38th day of a hunger strike in a Siberian prison where he is serving 20 years on trumped up charges for terrorism in a case where the key prosecution witness recanted his evidence, saying it was extracted under torture.
However, Mr Sentsov is on hunger strike not for himself alone but demanding the release of 70 other Ukrainian political prisoners.
That shameful example of egregious persecution only serves to remind us of Mr Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, and of course his even more transparently illegal annexation of Crimea. Then recently an international inquiry has confirmed that a Russian-made missile shot down Malaysian airliner MH17 over Ukraine with almost 300 passengers on board.
Meanwhile in Syria another report has just condemned Russia’s war crimes – the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria has found that in one month alone in Eastern Ghouta 1,100 civilians were killed in relentless attacks on civilians areas, adding to the tens of thousands killed and wounded by Russia since Mr Putin joined with Bashar al-Assad in September 2015 in a scorched earth strategy against civilian areas. – Yours, etc,
RONAN L TYNAN,