ICC wants to issue arrest warrants for war crimes in Ukraine – sources

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) is expected to issue its first arrest warrants against several Russian nationals “in the short term” on charges related to the conflict in Ukraine, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The source said on condition of anonymity that the ICC prosecutor should ask an investigating judge to issue warrants against several Russians for abducting children from Ukraine and targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

The identity of the persons related to the warrants and their effective date have not been specified.

The ICC Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment.

A year ago, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine. During his three visits to the war-torn country, he insisted he was investigating alleged crimes against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure.

Last month, researchers at Yale University released a report that Russia detained at least 6,000 Ukrainian children at sites in Russian-held Crimea.

Russia strongly denies that its military committed war crimes in Ukraine. It says it does not intentionally target civilians and provides humanitarian assistance to those who voluntarily seek to flee Ukraine.

The United Nations Convention defines the “forcible transfer of children from one group to another” as one of five acts that can be prosecuted as genocide.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch, French edition edited by Augustin Turpin, Kate Enstringer)

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