From Nuremberg to Darfur, history has seen some war criminals brought to trial

Nurenberg trials

Back in March, a White House reporter got President Biden to say out loud that he considered Russian President Vladimir Putin "a war criminal."

Those words resounded like a pistol crack in Washington and around the world. Even in the realm of rhetoric, accusations of war crimes carry weight. Attaching Putin's name made the moment all the more portentous, darkening the war clouds already gathering over the two nuclear superpowers.

This week, after the world saw gut-wrenching visuals of atrocities perpetrated against Ukraine's civilians, talk of war crimes seemed suddenly commonplace. The consensus shifted. The evidence of war crimes seems all but undeniable, and Russian claims to the contrary could scarcely diminish the chorus of condemnation.