By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
Will the Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković return Putin’s recognition award after the latest discoveries of war crimes in Ukraine’s Bucha? Since the beginning of the war, Janković has avoided this question, but with his attitude, he is increasingly making it seem as if he agrees with the Russian dictator. We have not yet received a response from the mayor regarding this important act.
Ukraine has announced that after the withdrawal of the Russian army from the Kyiv suburbs of Bucha and Irpin, the bodies of 410 civilians were found. The massacres of civilians in Bucha, about which the local authorities and journalists on the ground have recently reported, have been described as a genocide and war crime by Kyiv. Condemnations and calls to investigate the events, prosecute those responsible, and introduce tougher sanctions against Russia are coming from around the world these days. Meanwhile, Russia’s Ministry of Defence has denied any involvement and claimed that all their units “completely withdrew from Bucha on the 30th of March already,” and the Kremlin has also said that the recordings from the city are “fakes,” staged by Ukraine. However, satellite images released by the US space technology company Maxar Technologies on Monday challenge the Russian officials’ claims that the bodies of civilians in Bucha only appeared after the Russian forces had already withdrawn from the devastated Ukrainian city.
The Order of Friendship is the highest decoration awarded by the Russian Federation to foreigners. And since Russia awards this decoration to those who have contributed to strengthening peace and friendship, that is exactly why it would be appropriate for such a decoration, which symbolises peace and friendship, to be returned as a sign of protest against war crimes being committed in Ukraine. Therefore, that is also what one would expect the Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković to do, who is also an open supporter of the new deep state’s favourite, Robert Golob. It cannot be considered normal for a person to even try to justify the brutal killings of civilians in any way.
However, unlike Janković, most of the world does not hold back in its criticism of these war crimes. After the discovery of the large number of killed civilians in Bucha, the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, called for the Russian President Vladimir Putin to be tried for war crimes. “You saw what happened in Bucha. Putin is a war criminal,” he was critical, adding that he was in favour of imposing additional sanctions against Russia. “This man is cruel and what is happening in Bucha is unheard of – and everyone can see it.” According to the Slovenian Press Agency, the United States, along with 40 other countries, is gathering evidence of war crimes and other violations, and an investigation is already underway at the International Criminal Court, despite the fact that Russia, Ukraine and the United States of America are not its members.
Former Minister of Labour, Anja Kopač Mrak, who received the Russian award on the same day as the Mayor of Ljubljana, Janković, had already returned the Order of Friendship. She did it soon after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and she also commented on her action on Twitter, writing that this was her sign of protest against Russia’s actions. “I believe in peace, cooperation and coexistence,” she also wrote. In addition to Kopač Mrak, another person who also returned the award is Lieutenant-colonel Marko Hlastec, who returned the medal that was given to him by the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Defence. In a message he sent to the Russian Embassy, the Lieutenant-Colonel expressed outrage over Russia’s attack on the independent and sovereign Republic of Ukraine. He described Russia’s invasion as a violent and unacceptable act, which was also the reason for his decision to return the award. Many people are wondering when Janković will do the same.
This is not the first time an appeal was made for Janković to return his award
The calls for Janković to return the recognition of the Russian Federation are not a new thing. In early March, the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) already called on Janković to immediately end his friendship with Moscow in light of Putin’s aggression against the independent and sovereign state of Ukraine, thus showing at least a touch of solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The appeal that was sent to the mayor was signed by Igor Horvat, head of the SDS Municipality of Ljubljana councillor’s group, and Mojca Škrinjar, SDS councillor in the Municipality of Ljubljana and MP. However, so far, all appeals made to the Ljubljana Mayor have fallen on deaf ears. Since we were interested in whether he might have at least changed his mind due to the horrendous massacre, we addressed a journalistic question to him. We will update our readers as soon as we receive a response.