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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Russia Rejects ICC Arrest Warrants for Suspected War Crimes in Ukraine

In clear defiance of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Russia has declared that it does not recognize the arrest warrants issued for two Russian commanders, Sergei Kobylash and Viktor Sokolov, accused of war crimes in Ukraine. The ICC had specifically pointed to missile strikes against Ukrainian electricity infrastructure as the basis for the arrest warrants.

Kremlin’s Stance on ICC Warrants

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov emphasized that Russia, not being a party to the Rome Statute that established the ICC, does not acknowledge the arrest warrants. Peskov further explained, “We are not parties to the statute – we do not recognize this.” He dismissed the decision, noting that Russia is aware of various closed processes within the ICC, treating such decisions accordingly.

Denial of Previous ICC Warrants

This is not the first instance where the ICC has issued arrest warrants concerning Russia. In March of the previous year, the ICC issued warrants for the arrest of President Vladimir Putin and Russian Children’s Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging war crimes related to the abduction of Ukrainian children. The Kremlin, at the time, dismissed these warrants as outrageous and part of a biased Western campaign to discredit Russia.

Russian Denial of War Crimes in Ukraine

Russia consistently denies allegations of war crimes in Ukraine, portraying the ICC arrest warrants as having little real-world impact. Russian officials draw attention to the fact that no senior U.S. officials have faced justice for alleged war crimes in the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Also Read: Russian Warship Arrives in Qatar for Defense Exhibition, Reports Interfax

ICC Findings on Attacks in Ukraine

Contrary to Russia’s dismissive stance, the ICC, in its recent announcement, declared that the missile strikes on Ukraine’s electrical grid had caused civilian harm and damage exceeding any expected military advantage. The Geneva Conventions and additional protocols emphasize the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives, explicitly forbidding attacks on civilian objects.

Charges of Crimes Against Humanity

The ICC prosecutors go a step further, seeking to categorize the missile strikes not only as war crimes but also as crimes against humanity. They argue that these actions were part of a state policy involving widespread attacks on the civilian population.

Secrecy Surrounding ICC Investigations

The exact details of specific incidents and potential victims are kept confidential to protect witnesses and safeguard ongoing investigations, as stated by the ICC. Despite this secrecy, the charges against the Russian commanders underscore the gravity of the situation and the international community’s insistence on accountability for actions during the conflict in Ukraine.

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