The International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to issue arrest warrants for multiple individuals named in connection with war crimes cases related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The New York Times (NYT) and others reported on the 13th (local time), citing former and current officials, that the ICC will initiate an investigation into two suspected crimes based on the evidence collected so far and take such action. If it leads to an actual warrant issuance, it will be the first case of issuing an ICC warrant related to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The ICC cited ‘mass abduction of children’ and ‘attack on civilian infrastructure’ as war crimes. After the outbreak of war in February last year, Russia pretended to be humanitarian aid and took Ukrainian children and teenagers to Russia and adopted them into Russian families.
At least 6,000 Ukrainian children are held in 43 camps in Russia, according to Yale University and the State Department’s War Crimes Evidence Observation Program, and the actual number may be higher. Ukraine’s State Intelligence Service reported that the actual number of children currently held is more than 16,000.
In addition, Russia’s attack on Ukraine after the war broke out and destroyed civilian infrastructure such as water and gas was judged to be punishable. ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan plans to first review whether the legal criteria for issuing an arrest warrant have been met.
Earlier, it was pointed out that the trial process could be seen as slow from the Ukrainian point of view.
Chief Prosecutor Khan said of the legal process, “What people want is not a ‘victory of Pyrrhus’ (a victory that only hurts).”
“The prosecutor is a court official,” he said. “The prosecutor does not receive applause for performing magic. (The people) must be convinced that there is no political intention in each action,” he said, expressing his focus on neutral law enforcement.
Meanwhile, a high-ranking Ukrainian government official told CNN on the 13th that it had been pressuring the ICC for some time to seek an arrest warrant for Russians in connection with the war in Ukraine.
“Ukraine has been pushing for the ICC to prosecute Russian officials involved in war crimes,” the official said. “(The prosecution) includes Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is ultimately responsible.”
Mark Jones is a world traveler and journalist for News Rebeat. With a curious mind and a love of adventure, Mark brings a unique perspective to the latest global events and provides in-depth and thought-provoking coverage of the world at large.