The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has commenced an investigation into war crimes committed by the Russian Federation in Ukraine. This was stated by Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Karim Khan. He clarified that his Office had received referrals of the situation in Ukraine from 39 countries, including the EU Member States, as well as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
“These referrals enable my Office to proceed with opening an investigation into the Situation in Ukraine from 21 November 2013 onwards, thereby encompassing within its scope any past and present allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide committed on any part of the territory of Ukraine by any person,” reads the statement.
Khan added that his team had commenced the collection of evidence. The preliminary examination of the situation gives a reasonable basis to believe crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court had been committed.
“As I proceed to discharge my responsibilities, I will seek to engage with all relevant stakeholders and parties to the conflict, ensuring that investigations by my Office are conducted objectively and independently, with full respect for the principle of complementarity. In doing so, we will remain focused on our core objective: ensuring accountability for crimes falling within ICC jurisdiction,” Khan stressed.
He also said that the support of the international community would be essential. The Prosecutor called on all those engaged in hostilities in Ukraine to adhere strictly to the applicable rules of international humanitarian law.