ICC Issues Arrest Warrants: Russian Military Leaders Shoigu and Gerasimov Accused of Ukraine War Crimes

On June 24, 2024, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants of arrest for Sergei Kuzhugetovich Shoigu and Valery Vasilyevich Gerasimov in relation to alleged international crimes committed during the Ukraine conflict from October 2022 to March 2023.

Shoigu, then Minister of Defence of Russia, and Gerasimov, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Specifically, they are alleged to have directed attacks against civilian objects and caused excessive harm to civilians, as well as committed inhumane acts.

The warrants were issued based on applications by the Prosecution, which provided evidence suggesting the suspects’ individual criminal responsibility. The alleged crimes involve missile strikes by Russian forces on Ukrainian electric infrastructure, targeting numerous power plants and substations across multiple locations.

The Chamber found reasonable grounds to believe these strikes violated international humanitarian law by targeting civilian objects and causing disproportionate harm relative to any military advantage.

ICC Issues Arrest Warrants: Russian Military Leaders Shoigu and Gerasimov Accused of Ukraine War Crimes
ICC Issues Arrest Warrants: Russian Military Leaders Shoigu and Gerasimov Accused of Ukraine War Crimes

Moreover, Pre-Trial Chamber II concluded that these actions constituted a systematic campaign under a state policy, potentially amounting to crimes against humanity.

The Chamber emphasized the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly the protection of civilians during armed conflict and the requirement that military actions distinguish between civilian and military targets.

The warrants themselves are classified as ‘secret’ to protect witnesses and ongoing investigations. However, the Chamber authorized the public disclosure of the suspects’ names, the crimes they are accused of, and the modes of liability.

This decision aimed to raise awareness and potentially deter further violations of international law as similar conduct allegedly continues. The Chamber’s findings were based on evidence presented by the Prosecution, meeting statutory requirements for issuing arrest warrants under the Rome Statute.

The ICC’s issuance of arrest warrants against Shoigu and Gerasimov marks a significant step in holding individuals accountable for alleged serious violations of international law during the Ukraine conflict, highlighting the court’s role in addressing international crimes and promoting justice.

Michael Manua
Michael Manua
Michael, a seasoned market news expert with 29 years of experience, offers unparalleled insights into financial markets. At 61, he has a track record of providing accurate, impactful analyses, making him a trusted voice in financial journalism.
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