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ICC Takes Action Against Russia for Violations in Ukraine: Arrest Warrants for Putin and Other Officials Expected

The United Nations' Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine has found that Russian forces have committed a wide range of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law in various regions of Ukraine, many of which amount to war crimes.[0] In addition to wilful killings, torture, rape, forced transfers and the deportation of children, the Commission documented indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks, wilful killings, unlawful confinement, torture, rape and other sexual violence, as well as unlawful transfers and deportations of children.

The Commission also found that Russia has carried out a pattern of widespread unlawful confinement in areas controlled by Russian armed forces, targeting broad categories of men, women and children.[1] Furthermore, the Commission established that the use of explosive weapons in populated areas has been one of the main causes of civilian casualties.[2]

In addition, there is evidence that the Russian forces have attacked Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and carried out deliberate attacks on civilian infrastructure, which may amount to crimes against humanity. Energy infrastructure disruption caused entire regions and millions of people to be left without electricity or heating for periods of time, particularly in cold weather.[2]

Now, the International Criminal Court (ICC) is taking action.[3] The New York Times reported that officials from the International Criminal Court (ICC) have stated that the court will launch two investigations into Russia: one dealing with the kidnapping of Ukrainian minors and the other regarding the ruining of civilian infrastructure.[4] It is expected that Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor, will ask for arrest warrants against multiple Russian officials in the near future. According to professionals, Vladimir Putin may be included on this list.[3]

Despite the efforts of the Department of Defense to block the White House from sharing evidence of Russian atrocities with the ICC, the court is continuing its investigation.[5] Khan has already made four visits to Ukraine and the ICC has joined a Joint Investigative Team with Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania, and Ukraine to support possible trials inside or outside Ukraine.[6] According to sources, the court is expected to issue orders for the arrest of multiple individuals, with Russian President Vladimir Putin possibly being one of them.[7]

It is imperative that those responsible for the atrocities carried out in Ukraine are held accountable.[6] Survivors of the conflict have demanded justice, urging that “those who are guilty, if they are still alive, need to be punished to the fullest extent.” Now, it seems that those responsible may finally get their day in court.

0. “U.N. report says Russian forces have violated international, humanitarian law in Ukraine” UPI News, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2023/03/16/ukraine-un-report-russia-violated-international-law/4601678983012/

1. “UN: Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine” Axios, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/03/16/russia-war-crimes-ukraine-un-report

2. “War crimes, indiscriminate attacks on infrastructure, systematic and widespread torture show disregard for civilians …” OHCHR, 16 Mar. 2023, https://www.ohchr.org/en/press-releases/2023/03/war-crimes-indiscriminate-attacks-infrastructure-systematic-and-widespread

3. “International Criminal Court Seeks War Crimes Charges Against Russia: Officials” The Daily Beast, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/international-criminal-court-seeking-war-crimes-charges-against-russia-officials

4. “Is Russia Committing Genocide in Ukraine? What Experts Say” TIME, 15 Mar. 2023, https://time.com/6262903/russia-ukraine-genocide-war-crimes/

5. “Prosecuting Russian war crimes in Ukraine is awkward for the U.S” Grid, 13 Mar. 2023, https://www.grid.news/story/global/2023/03/13/why-prosecuting-russian-war-crimes-in-ukraine-may-be-awkward-for-the-us

6. “Russia has committed war crimes in Ukraine. The US should not hold back evidence for the prosecution.” The Boston Globe, 12 Mar. 2023, https://www.bostonglobe.com/2023/03/12/opinion/russia-has-committed-war-crimes-ukraine-us-should-not-hold-back-evidence-prosecution

7. “ICC in The Hague to ‘issue Ukraine war crimes arrest warrants' – DutchNews.nl” DutchNews.nl, 15 Mar. 2023, https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2023/03/icc-in-the-hague-to-issue-ukraine-war-crimes-arrest-warrants/

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