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The international court demands the arrest of Russian officials for the attacks on Ukrainian power plants

The international court demands the arrest of Russian officials for the attacks on Ukrainian power plants
The international court demands the arrest of Russian officials for the attacks on Ukrainian power plants

 


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it issued arrest warrants for Russia's former defense minister and its military chief of staff for attacks on Power plants of Ukrainethe third time the global court has charged senior Russian leaders with war crimes.

There is no immediate likelihood that either former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu or Chief of Staff General Valery Gerasimov will be detained to face charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for inhumane acts. Russia is not a member of the court, does not recognize its jurisdiction and refuses to hand over suspects.

However, the measure accrues more moral condemnation Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

The order is the latest attempt by global courts to intervene in a major conflict. At the beginning of this year, the chief prosecutor of the courts requested an arrest warrant to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his defense minister and three leaders of the militant group Hamas on the militants' deadly attacks in southern Israel and the ensuing war in Gaza.

Last year, the court issued an order to the Russian president Vladimir Putin, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine. Having from time to time it complicated his journey although the practical implications have been limited.

Russia's Security Council rejected the arrest warrants as invalid on Tuesday.

This is empty words, considering that the jurisdiction of the ICC does not include Russia and the decision was made as part of the West's hybrid war against our country, said a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The court said in a statement that the warrants were issued on Monday because judges considered there were reasonable grounds to believe that Shoigu and Gerasimov are responsible for rocket attacks carried out by the Russian armed forces against The electrical infrastructure of Ukraine from October 10, 2022, at least until March 9, 2023.

Judges who approved prosecutors' request for arrest warrants said the suspects are charged with inhumane acts because there is evidence that they intentionally caused great suffering or serious injury to the body or mental or physical health of civilians in Ukraine.

Under the leadership of Shoigu and Gerasimov, the Russian military has launched waves of missile and drone attacks that have killed thousands and damaged the country's energy system and other vital infrastructure.

Moscow has insisted it only targeted military facilities, despite daily casualties in civilian areas. The court claimed that the rocket attacks covered in the order targeted civilian installations.

He added that in the case of any installation that could be considered a military objective, the expected casualty and civilian damage would clearly have been outweighed by the anticipated military advantage.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy hailed the orders in a post on social media platform X, saying the two men are accused of heinous crimes against civilians in Ukraine during Russia's reckless bombing of critical Ukrainian civilian infrastructure. These barbaric rocket and drone attacks continue to kill people and cause damage across Ukraine.

He added: Any criminal involved in planning and executing these strikes must know that justice will be served. And we hope to see them behind bars.

Details of the warrants were kept under seal to protect witnesses, the court said.

ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said in a statement that the decision to issue the arrest warrants reflects the continued commitment of my offices to give meaningful effect to the protections the law affords to civilians and protected objects.

Khan said his prosecutor's office remains focused on pursuing multiple, interrelated lines of inquiry in Ukraine.

Putin Shoigu said as defense minister in a cabinet reshuffle in May as he began his fifth term as president.

Shoigu, 69, is widely seen as a key figure in Putin's decision to invade Ukraine. Russia had expected the operation to quickly overwhelm Ukraine's much smaller and less well-equipped army.

Instead, the conflict prompted Ukraine to mount an intense defense, dealing humiliating blows to the Russian military, including withdrawing from an attempt to take the capital, Kiev, and a counteroffensive that drove Moscow's forces out of the northeastern region of Kharkiv and from around Kherson. south in the fall of 2022.

Shoigu, who had personal ties to Putin, took a soft landing with the high-profile post of Secretary of the Security Council of Russia. At the same time, the siege of Shoigus they faced purges. A longtime associate and deputy, Timur Ivanov, and several other senior military officers were arrested on corruption charges, and other senior Defense Ministry officials lost their jobs.

Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff since 2012, has held the post until now. The 68-year-old military officer has directly supervised Russian military operations in Ukraine.

In addition to the arrest warrant against Putin, the court issued arrest warrants in March for two high-ranking officials Russian military officers on charges related to attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, which judges said took place in accordance with state policy.

Last year, Russia announced the indictment in absentia for a judge and prosecutor at the International Criminal Court who issued a warrant against Putin.

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Find more coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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