International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Shoigu and Gerasimov: details

Maryna LisnychukNews
War criminals Shoigu and Gerasimov. Source: rosmedia

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov. They are charged with striking civilian objects and civilians in Ukraine.

Both military commanders of the Russian army are individually responsible for the war crimes committed by their subordinates. The ICC decision was made on June 25 and published on its official website.

According to the agency, the arrest warrant for Shoigu and Gerasimov was issued on suspicion of their alleged involvement in international crimes committed during the full-scale Russian invasion.

The Russian army general and colonel general, respectively, are accused of attacks on civilians in Ukraine and crimes against humanity. These include Russian missile and drone strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure between October 10, 2022, and at least March 9, 2023.

The Hague emphasized that during this period, the Russian Armed Forces carried out a large number of attacks on numerous power plants and substations in different parts of Ukraine. Therefore, there are sufficient grounds to hold Shoigu and Gerasimov responsible for these attacks.

According to the ICC prosecutors, both of them are individually responsible for all these crimes.

The Security Service of Ukraine commented on the ICC's decision, noting that it was made, in particular, on the basis of the evidence obtained by the special service's investigators.

"It has been documented that at least from October 10, 2022, to March 9, 2023, Shoigu and Gerasimov regularly ordered massive missile strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities," the SBU said.

They clarified that dozens of Ukrainian civilians were killed and injured as a result of enemy attacks, and hundreds of civilian facilities were de-energized during the cold season. Among them are schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and residential buildings.

According to the investigation, the occupants used cruise missiles, in particular, of the "Kalibr" and "X-101" types, to carry out air strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities. The aggressor inflicted the main strikes on the energy sector enterprises in Kyiv, Lviv, Dnipro, Vinnytsia, Kirovohrad, Odesa, Zaporizhzhia, Sumy, Khmelnytsk, Rivne, Chernivtsi, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr and Ivano-Frankivsk regions.

International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for Shoigu and Gerasimov: details

The SBU recalled that in March 2024, the ICC issued arrest warrants for two more Russian officials involved in the shelling of Ukraine's civilian infrastructure:

– Commander of the Long-Range Aviation of the Russian Aerospace Forces, Lieutenant General Sergei Kobylash;

– Commander of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy, Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov.

These individuals were carrying out orders from Shoigu and Gerasimov, launching missile strikes against Ukraine.

It should be noted that on March 5, 2024, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian Long-Range Aviation Commander Sergei Kobylash and Russian Black Sea Fleet Commander Viktor Sokolov. They are also accused of involvement in a missile campaign targeting Ukraine's energy infrastructure from at least October 2022 to March 2023.

An arrest warrant from the ICC means that all of these Russian military leaders, as well as the commander-in-chief of the Russian occupation army, dictator Putin, can be detained and brought to trial in 124 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute. Ukraine has only signed it, but cannot ratify it during the war for certain reasons.

As reported by OBOZ.UA, ICC prosecutors are also investigating Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine's civilian infrastructure committed during the full-scale invasion as possible war crimes. This could theoretically lead to the issuance of arrest warrants for the accused.

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