World leaders have condemned Russia for weaponising food in its war against Ukraine. By blockading Ukrainian grain shipments in ports and besieging civilians in the nation’s cities, Russia is using starvation as a war strategy.

Tom Dannenbaum, Alex De Waal and Daniel Maxwell explain that military powers have done this for thousands of years, typically without being held to account. Now, however, international law clearly forbids starvation of civilians as a warfare tactic. “It is time to confront the criminality of this practice,” they assert – and to do it in places like Syria, South Sudan and Ethiopia as well as in Ukraine.

At least one person is killed every two days in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Many of these cases go unreported – and most that are reported are never resolved. Cases are often characterised by shambolic investigations that produce insufficient evidence and are dismissed from court. Douglas Lucas Kivoi sets out why police are failing to unravel murder cases and offers solutions that could lead to better outcomes.

Jennifer Weeks

Senior Environment + Energy Editor

Starving civilians is an ancient military tactic, but today it’s a war crime in Ukraine, Yemen, Tigray and elsewhere

Tom Dannenbaum, Tufts University; Alex De Waal, Tufts University; Daniel Maxwell, Tufts University

Countries have used starvation as a war strategy for centuries, historically without being prosecuted. Three experts on hunger and humanitarian relief call for holding perpetrators accountable.

How Nairobi police failures let people get away with murder

Douglas Lucas Kivoi, The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA)

A host of problems are behind police failures, including poor evidence gathering and the mistreatment of witnesses.

World Trade Organization steps back from the brink of irrelevance – but it’s not fixed yet

Markus Wagner, University of Wollongong; Weihuan Zhou, UNSW Sydney

Meeting for the first time since 2017, the WTO’s highest decision-making body managed to agree on some things – including its first treaty with environmental protection as the objective.