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5 Mar, 2024 13:51

ICC issues arrest warrants for top Russian military commanders

The Hague-based institution, which is not recognized by Moscow, has targeted the two men over alleged war crimes
ICC issues arrest warrants for top Russian military commanders

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for two top Russian military commanders, accusing them of committing war crimes amid the Ukrainian conflict.

The two top officers, Lieutenant-General Sergey Kobylash of the Long-Range Aviation fleet and Admiral Viktor Sokolov of the Black Sea fleet, are accused of committing “the war crime of directing attacks at civilian objects,” causing “excessive incidental harm to civilians,” as well as perpetrating a “crime against humanity,” the ICC said in a press release. 

The alleged crimes are said to have taken place during a campaign of missile strikes “against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023,” the court claimed.

The Hague-based tribunal has repeatedly taken hostile steps against Moscow, most notably by issuing an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin last spring. Putin is accused of “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children to Russia.

Moscow has rebuffed the ICC claims, stating that the children in question were merely evacuated form the warzone, and could be returned to Ukraine should their legal guardians request it. Russia has also taken retaliatory steps against the ICC itself, launching a criminal case against the court’s principal prosecutor and judges, ultimately issuing arrest warrants against them.

Like many other countries, including the US, Moscow does not recognize the authority of the Hague-based tribunal and its actions have no legal validity in Russia. The body has been repeatedly accused of being Eurocentric and biased towards the West.