Written by 14:18 World

I.C.C. Issues Arrest Warrants for Russian Officials Shoigu and Gerasimov

The International Criminal Court said on Tuesday that it had issued arrest warrants for two top Russian security officials over strikes against civilian targets, delivering a stinging, if largely symbolic, condemnation of the Kremlin’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.

The Hague-based court accused Russia’s most senior military officer, Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov, and a senior member of the country’s Security Council, Sergei K. Shoigu, of directing a campaign of strikes against Ukraine’s power plants in the winter of 2022.

“The expected incidental civilian harm and damage would have been clearly excessive to the anticipated military advantage,” the court said in a statement on Tuesday, referring to the strikes. It issued the warrants on Monday.

Russia’s Security Council denounced the warrants, calling them “pathetic” examples of “the West’s hybrid war against our country,” according to comments provided to the Moscow-based Interfax news agency. Russia, like the United States, is not a party to the court.

Ukrainians applauded the court’s actions even if few expected to see the Russian military commanders in the dock at The Hague anytime soon. Andriy Kostin, Ukraine’s chief prosecutor, called the decision “another significant step toward ensuring full accountability of the aggressor.” President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said the court’s decision was “a clear indication that justice for Russian crimes against Ukrainians is inevitable.”

General Gerasimov and Mr. Shoigu, who until recently served as Russia’s defense minister, are longtime loyalists of President Vladimir V. Putin and were among the architects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Last modified: 27 June 2024