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International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for high-ranking Russian military officials

Lieutenant General Sergei Kobylash and Admiral Viktor Sokolov stand accused of conducting a campaign of missile strikes against Ukrainian energy infrastructure and committing the crime against humanity.
International Criminal Court
International Criminal Court in The Hague, Credit: Marina Riera/Human Rights Watch
International Criminal Court issues arrest warrants for high-ranking Russian military officials

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for two high-ranking Russian military officials, Lieutenant General Sergei Kobylash and Admiral Viktor Sokolov, for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine.

The warrants, issued by Pre-Trial Chamber II, accuse the officials of directing attacks on civilian objects and causing excessive harm to civilians or damage to civilian objects, as well as committing inhumane acts from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023, ICC stated.

Kobylash, the Commander of the Long-Range Aviation of the Aerospace Force, and Sokolov, the Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, are alleged to have jointly committed these acts or ordered their commission. The Chamber also considered their failure to exercise proper control over the forces under their command.

The warrants were issued following applications by the Prosecution, which presented evidence of a campaign of missile strikes by Russian armed forces against Ukrainian energy infrastructure, including power plants and sub-stations. The Chamber found reasonable grounds to believe that these strikes were directed against civilian objects and that the incidental harm to civilians and damage to civilian objects would have been excessive compared to the anticipated military advantage.

Furthermore, the alleged campaign of strikes is considered a course of conduct involving multiple acts against a civilian population, pursuant to a State policy, qualifying as a crime against humanity or ‘other inhumane acts’ under the Rome Statute.

During last year’s fall-winter seasons, Russian forces launched over 1,200 missiles and kamikaze drones to degrade Ukraine’s critical civilian infrastructure, particularly the energy system, according to Ukraine’s state-owned electricity transmission system operator Ukrenergo.

As per Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, CEO of Ukrenergo, Russia struck about 70 major energy facilities across Ukraine during those attacks.

Since the fall of 2024, Russian forces have resumed aerial attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, resulting in the closure of schools in Dnipro and the evacuation of a hospital.

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