By Andrew Firmin, Editor in Chief, CIVICUS
It is now clear diplomacy matters little to Vladimir Putin. Despite the efforts of a string of presidents and prime ministers to prevent conflict, on 24 February, Putin started the war he’d been itching for.
What now seems evident is that Putin expects to maintain a Cold War-style sphere of influence around Russia’s borders. It isn’t only his treatment of Ukraine, seemingly punished for orienting a little more towards the west and entertaining a vague idea of joining NATO, that shows this.
In the context of conflict, there’s a need to monitor and collect evidence of human rights violations – with the aim of one day holding the perpetrators and commissioners of crimes to account in the international justice system.
Civil society can play a vital part here – not only in defending human rights and monitoring violations, but also in building peace at the local level and providing essential humanitarian help to people left bereft by conflict.
Read more on Inter Press Service