ICC warrants Russian army chief, ex-defense minister

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By Creative Media News

  • ICC issues warrants for former Russian officials for Ukraine strikes
  • Charges include war crimes, crimes against humanity
  • Previous warrant for Putin on child abduction charges

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Russia’s former defence minister and military leader for allegedly striking civilian targets in Ukraine.

The Hague-based court said in a statement on Tuesday that warrants were issued because judges believed there were reasonable grounds to believe the men were responsible for “missile strikes carried out by the Russian armed forces against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure” between October 10, 2022, and at least March 9, 2023.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) charged former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Valery Gerasimov with war crimes and crimes against humanity for inhumane behaviour.

During this time, the Russian armed forces carried out a massive number of strikes against several electric power facilities and substations across Ukraine, according to the court statement.

The justices concluded that there are reasonable grounds to infer that the alleged strikes were directed at civilian targets, it continued.

It noted that for those installations that may have qualified as military objectives at the time, the projected incidental civilian harm and damage would have been clearly greater than the anticipated military advantage.

Russia has consistently stated that Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is a valid military target while denying attacking civilians or civilian facilities.

Warrant for Putin.

Last year, the court also issued a warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of personal guilt for child abductions in Ukraine.

In March of this year, the court issued arrest warrants for two high-ranking Russian military officers on allegations related to assaults on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, which judges stated occurred “under a state policy.

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Al Jazeera’s Step Vassen reported from Amsterdam that the court’s declaration was a surprise because there had been no hint that the arrest warrants had been requested.

“This means that all the countries they [the two Russian officials] will visit that have signed the Rome Statute will have to arrest them and bring them to The Hague,” she added, adding that the officials would avoid countries that are signatories to the pact.

Russia is not a member of the court, does not recognize its jurisdiction, and refuses to turn over suspects.

Putin replaced Shoigu as defence minister in a cabinet shuffle in May when he began his sixth term as president. He appointed Shoigu as secretary of the Russian Security Council.

The Security Council declared Tuesday that the ICC’s arrest order for Shoigu was part of a hybrid war against Moscow, according to state-run news agency TASS.

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