ICC points warrants for 2 Russian officers over assaults on Ukraine’s infrastructure | EUROtoday

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The International Criminal Court stated Tuesday that it has issued arrest warrants for 2 senior Russian officers over the Ukraine struggle, together with strikes concentrating on Ukrainian energy infrastructure.

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The transfer comes after the court docket focused Russian President Vladimir Putin in March final yr with a global arrest warrant on struggle crime accusations over the deportation of Ukrainian kids since launching the struggle in February 2022.

It named the 2 new warrant targets as Sergei Ivanovich Kobylash and Viktor Nikolayevich Sokolov, a military lieutenant common and a navy admiral, and stated the suspected crimes had been dedicated between October 2022 and March 2023.

The two males “are each allegedly responsible for the war crime of directing attacks at civilian” targets and are additionally accused of the “crime against humanity of inhumane acts”, the court docket stated.

The court docket stated there have been grounds to imagine that the 2 suspects had been chargeable for missile strikes in opposition to Ukrainian electrical infrastructure from a minimum of October 10, 2022, till a minimum of March 9, 2023.

Over this time, there was an alleged marketing campaign of strikes in opposition to electrical energy crops and substations that had been carried out by the Russian armed forces in a number of areas in Ukraine, the court docket stated.

“There are reasonable grounds to believe they bear individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” the Hague-based court docket stated in a press release.

The two males both carried out the assaults instantly or ordered them, or failed “to exercise proper control over the forces under their command”, it stated.

‘Another milestone’

The ICC, created in 2002 to analyze struggle crimes in hotspots around the globe, in September opened a area workplace in Kyiv as a part of efforts to carry Russian forces accountable for potential struggle crimes.

That transfer got here after a global workplace to probe Russia for the struggle crime of aggression opened in The Hague in March 2023 in what Kyiv referred to as a “historic” first step towards a tribunal for Moscow’s management.

Along with Putin, the ICC has additionally issued a warrant in opposition to Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for kids’s rights, on related prices of illegal youngster deportations in the course of the Ukraine struggle.

Russian officers responded furiously to the court docket’s arrest warrants for Putin, with Moscow issuing a retaliatory arrest warrant on ICC prosecutor Karim Khan of Britain and different court docket officers.

But the court docket’s transfer seems to have restricted Putin’s international actions, with the Russian president skipping a BRICS summit final yr in South Africa.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine are official members of the ICC, although Kyiv has been working with the court docket to furnish what it considers proof of Russian crimes.

“It took us many months of dedicated work of prosecutors, investigators of Ukraine, different Ukrainian agencies, who supplied the office of the prosecutor of the ICC with thousands of evidences and information,” Ukraine’s prosecutor common Andriy Kostin stated Tuesday.

“Today, we reached another milestone in ensuring justice for all victims and survivors of this war. I’m really grateful for prosecutor of the ICC Karim Khan and his team,” Kostin stated in Brussels, the place he was attending a gathering of European justice ministers.

The ICC doesn’t have its personal police pressure for implementing the arrest warrants, and must depend on the justice authorities of its 123 member states to hold them out if Putin or the opposite focused officers had been to journey to their territory.