The brutalities of Russia’s war in Ukraine have stoked enormous demand among Ukrainians and much of the Western world for investigations, indictments, arrests and trials for the invaders and their commanders, notably President Vladimir Putin of Russia. Some leaders, including President Joe Biden, have even accused them of genocide.

The calls for accountability have pressed for prosecutions not only at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which was established precisely for such a purpose, but in other courts and even special war crimes tribunals that could be created specifically to put suspects on trial, like the proceedings against the Nazis who were judged at Nuremberg.

And yet, despite the speedy collection of evidence in Ukraine and an outpouring of international cooperation to build criminal case files, the likelihood of any significant war crimes trials, much less convictions, could be years away — if they ever occur — especially for Putin.