ICC to investigate possible war crimes in Ukraine
The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague stated on Monday that he will launch an investigation into possible war crimes and crimes against humanity that could occur in Ukraine during the military conflict.
ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan made an official statement announcing that the investigation will be open as soon as possible, despite Ukraine not being a state party to the court.
“Last Friday, I expressed my increasing concern, echoing those of world leaders and citizens of the world alike, over the events unfolding in Ukraine. Today, I wish to announce that I have decided to proceed with opening an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine, as rapidly as possible,” he stated on the official ICC website.
The prosecutor also said that, despite Ukraine not being a member of the court, it had the prerogative to accept court jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed on its territory.
Earlier that day, Lithuania appealed to the ICC to open an investigation into possible war crimes committed by Russian and Belarusian forces amid the military conflict in Ukraine.
On Sunday, Ukraine also filed a lawsuit against Russia at the International Court of Justice for launching an “unlawful” attack under the “baseless and absurd” pretext of alleged crimes of genocide committed in the DPR and LPR.
Last Thursday, Russia launched a military operation against Ukraine, claiming it was necessary to “demilitarize” Ukraine to protect the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, and Russian security interests. In an address to the nation on Thursday morning, President Vladimir Putin cited the necessity to stop crimes of genocide perpetrated by Ukrainian nationalists against the citizens of the LPR and DPR.