It will be difficult for the International Criminal Court to investigate the death of people in Bucha, since neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of this court, the Foreign Ministry believes. The court initiated an investigation into the situation in Ukraine at the beginning of April * “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the investigation of the events in Bucha by the International Court of Justice difficult” />
It will be difficult to conduct an investigation into the circumstances of the death of people in Bucha within the framework of the International Criminal Court (ICC), because neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of this court. This opinion was expressed by Pyotr Ilyichev, Director of the Department of International Organizations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, RIA Novosti reports.
“The West decided to go its own way, they say something about the ICC. But it will be difficult with the ICC, because neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the International Criminal Court,— Ilyichev said. He also said that Russia does not intend to raise the issue of holding an international investigation into the events in Ukraine, including in Bucha, with the participation of another court— International Court of Justice.
According to him, this is due to the fact that Russia doubts the impartiality of the investigation. “So far, this topic has not been raised at the UN. We need to look at what kind of investigation it might be, who will conduct it. Unfortunately, the experience of previous investigations, including through the ICC, shows an exceptionally biased position,— Ilyichev said. Answering a clarifying question whether Russia would initiate this issue, he said: “We— no».
The International Criminal Court (ICC), like the International Court of Justice, is located in The Hague and began its work in 2002. The ICC is not part of the UN structures, its founding document— this is the 1998 Rome Statute.
In accordance with it, the court can judge not states, but individuals and hold them accountable for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide. Ukraine and Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but have not ratified the document. In addition to ratifying an instrument, a State may make a declaration under Article 12(3) of the Statute recognizing the ICC's jurisdiction over a particular crime.
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In April 2015, Ukraine recognized the court's jurisdiction over crimes allegedly committed on its territory between 21 November 2013 and 22 February 2014. Later, in September of the same year, Kyiv recognized (.pdf) the jurisdiction of the court for crimes against humanity that could have been committed throughout Ukraine after November 21, 2013 and without an end date. Recognition of the jurisdiction of the court does not in itself automatically lead to the initiation of an investigation, it is up to the ICC prosecutor to decide whether the information provided is sufficient to initiate a case.
On March 3, the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced the launch of an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine since November 21, 2013. The decision was made by the chief prosecutor of the court, Karim Khan.
According to the attached documents on the website of the court, 39 states have applied to the ICC (.pdf) to initiate an investigation into crimes in Ukraine, including Australia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Germany and France , later two more states joined the request— Japan and North Macedonia. The court also announced that it has begun collecting witness statements through a special form on its website.
In November 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that Russia not be allowed to participate in the ICC. The presidential order was published the day after the then chief prosecutor of the ICC, Fatou Bensouda, in her annual report, called the fact that Crimea became part of Russia in 2014 “tantamount to an international armed conflict.” between Ukraine and Russia. Press Secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov said that the change in Russia's position on participation in the ICC is connected with “national interests”. On this occasion, the Foreign Ministry stated that the Hague Criminal Court “did not justify the hopes placed on it and did not become a truly independent, authoritative body of international justice.”
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that its goal is to protect the population of Donbass from “genocide” by the Kiev authorities, as well as “denazification” and “demilitarization” Ukraine. After the start of the operation, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky severed diplomatic relations with Russia, introduced martial law in the country and announced a general mobilization.
In early April, the Ukrainian authorities and a number of Western media, including Reuters and AFP, published footage from Bucha, which the Russian military had left shortly before, in which corpses were visible. According to Reuters, the photographs were of dead civilians. The mayor of the city, Anatoly Fedoruk, told AFP that the people depicted were shot dead, and also spoke about hundreds of people found in mass graves.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres called for an independent investigation into what happened in Bucha to bring those responsible to justice, and added that he was “deeply shocked” images from the city.
The Russian Ministry of Defense called the photo and video from Bucha a staging and a provocation. The agency stated that the Russian military was not involved in the killings of civilians. The Ministry of Defense reported that Russian troops left Bucha on March 30, and during the entire time that the city was controlled by them, “not a single local resident was injured.” The Ministry of Defense also pointed out that evidence of crimes in Bucha appeared only on the fourth day, when employees of the SBU and Ukrainian television arrived in the city.
The Kremlin called the events in Ukrainian Bucha a forgery, the purpose of which— denigrate the Russian army. Answering a question about whether Russia was interested in participating in the investigation of the events in Bucha, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “we need to think about how truly impartial investigation is now possible, neutral, unbiased, impartial.”
At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.
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