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“Crimes against humanity”: International Court issues arrest warrants for Russia’s Shoigu and Gerasimov  

The International Criminal Court (ICC) found reasonable grounds to believe that Russia’s former Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov intentionally caused great suffering and serious injury to Ukrainian civilians by directing a series of missile strikes against Ukraine’s electric infrastructure.
Russia's former Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov
Russia’s former Defense Minister Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Gerasimov. Source: Wikipedia
“Crimes against humanity”: International Court issues arrest warrants for Russia’s Shoigu and Gerasimov  

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants for former Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov for war crimes against civilians committed in Ukraine from at least 10 October 2022 until at least 9 March 2023.

The warrants, issued on 24 June, accuse Shoigu and Gerasimov of directing a series of missile strikes by Russian armed forces against Ukrainian electric infrastructure, causing excessive harm to civilians.

Ukraine’s power grid is under severe strain, having lost 70% of its generation capacity due to Russian missile strikes. The dire state of the energy infrastructure led to widespread power shortages and necessitated rolling blackouts, severely impacting both residential and industrial sectors across Ukraine.

The ICC stated that these strikes targeted numerous power plants and sub-stations across Ukraine and that even if some of these installations were considered military objectives, the expected civilian harm and damage would have been disproportionate to the anticipated military advantage.

Crimes against humanity

In addition to the war crimes charges, the ICC also determined that the alleged campaign of strikes constitutes a crime against humanity. The court found reasonable grounds to believe that Shoigu and Gerasimov intentionally caused great suffering and serious injury to the physical or mental health of Ukrainian civilians.

The ICC noted that public awareness of these warrants might contribute to the prevention of further crimes, as Russian violations of international humanitarian law addressed in the warrants appear to be ongoing.

In March 2023, the ICC also issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, on charges of unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied Ukrainian territories to Russia.

In March 2024, Ukraine’s largest electricity producer, DTEK Group, reported damages from Russian missile attacks that were twice as severe as those experienced in the winter of 2022, costing approximately $230 million to repair. These attacks significantly impacted six major thermal power plants, with DTEK planning urgent repairs to restore five of these plants before the upcoming winter.

 

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