NYT: The International Criminal Court is going to open its first cases against Russia

Anhelina Sheremet

The International Criminal Court (ICC) intends to bring the first two war crimes cases against Russia — for the deportation of children and attacks on infrastructure.

The American newspaper The New York Times writes about it with reference to current and former court officials who are aware of this decision.

These are the first accusations that the court brought against Russia. They are the result of special investigative actions and relate to the fact that Russia kidnapped Ukrainian children and teenagers and sent them to Russian re-education camps, and the Kremlin deliberately struck civilian infrastructure.

The first case is related to the well-known kidnapping of Ukrainian children, from toddlers to teenagers. As part of the Kremlinʼs program, they were taken out of Ukraine and sent to families for adoption or to orphanages to become Russian citizens, or sent to summer camps for re-education. Russia made no secret of its program, presenting it as a "humanitarian mission to protect orphaned or abandoned Ukrainian children from the war."

The number of all Ukrainian children illegally taken to Russia, including those who were deported with their parents, may reach 150 000, Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets stated earlier.

There are 16 207 children officially verified by Ukraine on the territory of Russia.

In the second case, the attorney general is expected to review Russiaʼs ongoing attacks on civilian infrastructure, including water and gas systems and power plants, which are located far from hostilities and are not considered legitimate military targets.

The New York Times reports that arrest warrants for the suspects in neither case are expected in the near future.

  • In recent weeks, a group of governments and international organizations has intensified negotiations on the need to create a separate international court with the authority to prosecute Russia for the crime of aggression, over which the ICC has no jurisdiction. The court can prosecute individuals, even leaders, only for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in this case — but not for the crime of aggression.