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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has officially issued an arrest warrant for former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russia’s top general, Valery Gerasimov, for war crimes in Ukraine.

On Tuesday, the ICC accused Shoigu and Gerasimov of war crimes related to attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. They face charges of “directing attacks at civilian objects” and causing harm to civilians, alongside “inhumane acts.” Specifically, the ICC claims there is sufficient evidence that between October 10, 2022, and March 9, 2023, Shoigu and Gerasimov orchestrated attacks on Ukrainian energy infrastructure, a key Russian military strategy. Under the Geneva Conventions, targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure constitutes a war crime, and the ICC highlighted that the civilian harm from these attacks outweighed any military objective.

Russia Ukraine Invasion

Russian state news agency TASS quoted the Security Council of Russia, currently headed by Shoigu, dismissing the ICC’s decision as “null and void,” asserting that the ICC’s jurisdiction does not extend to Russia and labeling the decision as part of a “hybrid war” against their country.

Ukrainian officials have welcomed the ICC’s announcement. President Volodymyr Zelensky emphasized that “no military rank or cabinet door can shield Russian criminals from accountability. Andriy Yermak, head of Ukraine’s presidential office, reiterated that Shoigu and Gerasimov would be held “individually responsible” for their actions.

The arrest warrants, issued by a three-judge ICC panel, indicate that any state party to the ICC must arrest Shoigu and Gerasimov, potentially limiting their international travel. While Russia is not an ICC member, the US, which is also not a party, has expressed support for these warrants.


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