International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Russia’s Shoigu and Gerasimov

On Tuesday, June 25, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

A statement on the International Criminal Court’s website confirms this.

The Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court, consisting of Presiding Judge Rosario Salvatore Aitala, Judge Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez, and Judge Haykel Ben Mahfoud, issued the arrest warrants.

“The two warrants of arrest were issued following applications filed by the Prosecution. Pre-Trial Chamber II considered that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the Russian armed forces against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023. During this time-frame, a large number of strikes against numerous electric power plants and sub-stations were carried out by the Russian armed forces in multiple locations in Ukraine.” 

International Criminal Court

The court determined that there were reasonable grounds to suspect that the alleged attacks targeted civilian objects, and for those classified as military objectives, the expected military advantage outweighed the anticipated incidental harm and damage to the civilian population.

“The Chamber, when assessing criminal responsibility for the alleged perpetration of war crimes during the conduct of hostilities, must consider whether the alleged conduct abided by the principle of distinction, which prohibits the use of armed force against civilians and other protected persons. As part of its assessment of the actions of those suspected of serious violations of international humanitarian law, insofar as these are codified as crimes under the Rome Statute, the Chamber will always consider the effect of said actions on the safety and security of civilians, including the most vulnerable, such as the elderly, women and children.”

International Criminal Court

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian commanders on the basis of motions filed by the prosecution.

On March 5, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian Long-Range Aviation Commander Sergei Kobylash and Black Sea Fleet Commander Viktor Sokolov. 

This development shows that the Russian military and political leadership will not escape justice for their alleged war crimes against the Ukrainians. 

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