Arrest warrants are issued by the ICC for Russia’s army chief and former defense minister.

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Arrest warrants are issued by the ICC for Russia’s army chief and former defense minister.

A warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin is pending while a court handles the conflict in Ukraine.

The top army commander and former defense minister of Russia are the targets of arrest warrants issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes related to strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure. The ICC made this announcement on Tuesday.

In relation to the conflict in Ukraine, the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued several warrants, the most recent of which is for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Arrest warrants are issued by the ICC for Russia's army chief and former defense minister.

The warrants, which were issued on Monday but made public on Tuesday, were for former defense minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said in a statement that the two individuals are charged with both the crime against humanity of “inhumane acts” in Ukraine and the war crimes of directing attacks at civilian targets and inflicting severe incidental injury to civilians.

The judges of the ICC stated that there were “reasonable grounds to believe that the two suspects bear responsibility for missile strikes carried out by the Russian armed forces against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023.”

Even where targets may be deemed military, the court stated that these strikes were “directed against civilian objects” and that any harm done to civilians “would have been clearly excessive to the anticipated military advantage.”

The chief of staff of the president, Andriy Yermak, praised the “important” choice made by Ukraine, declaring that “everyone will be held accountable for evil.”

The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) lacks a police force of its own to carry out the arrest warrants. Its 124 members’ justice systems are what carry them out.

Theoretically, someone who is wanted cannot travel to a country that is a member of the ICC for fear of being arrested.

Putin has taken trips overseas, most notably to non-ICC members Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

He did, however, fail to show up for a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) meeting that was supposed to be used to execute the warrant in South Africa.

“Historic first” Moscow denounced the warrant against Putin as “void” and responded by obtaining its own warrant against the president of the ICC.

More than two years into Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, Putin replaced Shoigu as defense minister last month, causing a significant upheaval in the country’s military hierarchy.

The 68-year-old has had an unparalleledly long political career in post-Soviet Russia since being named Russian defense minister in 2012.

He was chosen to succeed longtime ally Nikolai Patrushev as secretary of the Security Council.

Additionally, the Kremlin stated that “no changes” were planned to take Gerasimov’s place as Chief of Staff.

A hardline group of influential pro-offensive military bloggers has singled out Gerasimov and Shoigu for Moscow’s alleged military shortcomings.

The plan to send troops to Ukraine under strict secrecy is thought to have been conceived with his intimate involvement, according to observers.

Gerasimov has been the head of the general staff for the longest period of time in the post-Soviet era since he assumed office in 2012.

As part of its efforts to hold Russian soldiers accountable for possible war crimes, the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was established in 2002 to look into war crimes worldwide, opened a field office in Kyiv in September.

This action followed the opening of an international office in The Hague in March 2023 to investigate Russia for the war crime of aggression, which Kyiv referred to as a “historic” first step toward the establishment of a tribunal for Moscow’s leadership.

In addition to Putin, Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, is also the target of an ICC warrant stemming from allegations of illegal child deportations that occurred during the conflict in Ukraine.

Due to attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for Sergei Ivanovich Kobylash and Viktor Nikolayevich Sokolov, two senior Russian officers.

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