The ICC Issues Warrants for Two Russian Officers

( — The International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued warrants for the arrest of two Russian military commanders in connection with Russia’s airstrikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.

The ICC on Tuesday called for the arrest of Adm. Viktor Kinolayevich Sokolov, the naval commander of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, and Lt. Gen. Sergei Ivanovich Kobylash, who commanded the Russian Aerospace Force’s Long-Range Aviation.

The court accused the officers of committing a war crime by directing attacks on civilian infrastructure that caused damage to the infrastructure and harm to civilians.

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan stated that those in charge of “actions that impact innocent civilians or protected objects” know that such actions violate international humanitarian law.

In a statement posted on X, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the ICC warrants should act as a reminder to any Russian commander who would order strikes on civilians or civilian infrastructure that “justice will be served” and the perpetrators “held accountable.”

The ICC judges reviewed the evidence and found there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that the two commanders were responsible for ordering the missile strikes that targeted Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure from the fall of 2022 until early March 2023.

During that time, Russia was targeting power plants and substations throughout the country.

However, it is unlikely that either commander will ever face trial in The Hague.

The International Criminal Court does not have the power to arrest suspects and must rely on member countries to apprehend suspects if they ever step foot in their countries. However, Russia is not a member country. It does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction and refuses to hand over individuals who are charged by the court.

This is the second time the ICC has announced arrest warrants in connection with Russia’s war in Ukraine.

In March of last year, the ICC issued arrest warrants for President Vladimir Putin and Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging that they were personally responsible for the abduction of Ukrainian orphans who were transferred to Russia.

Copyright 2024,