International Criminal Court (ICC) lawyer Karim Khan is investigating a war crime in Ukraine. For this, they are demanding to preserve the evidence related to the war, because the war between Russia and Ukraine continues.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan is launching an investigation into whether war crimes have been committed in Ukraine. He is demanding immediate preservation of the evidence as the fight continues. War crimes are serious violations of international humanitarian law, which seeks to regulate the conduct of war and the treatment of civilians and prisoners during war.

Now the fight is getting deeper in the urban areas

As Russian troops advance into major cities, there have been increasing reports of attacks on civilian objects, such as apartment buildings, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, and oil and power facilities. Fighting is now deepening in urban areas and Russian forces are becoming frustrated with Ukrainian resistance. This can cause a lot of damage to civilians.

Ukraine is not a party to the ICC

Ukraine is not a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC, but it has twice acceded to the court’s jurisdiction over any international offense committed on its territory. This could include crimes committed by pro-Russian separatists or by Russian or Ukrainian military forces. It does not matter that Russia is not a member of the court and has not accepted its jurisdiction. But it does mean that Russia is not very likely to cooperate with the court like the US.

What is war crime?

There is a fallacy in legal interpretation in considering whether war crimes have been committed. This is why forensic criminal investigation is important in uncovering the truth. International humanitarian law does not completely prohibit harm to citizens or their property, and civilians bear some damage. However, the law is unclear when it comes to intentional attacks on civilians or civilian objects. These are war crimes, unless a civilian item is also being used for military purposes and thus becomes a military target.

Disproportionate attacks are also war crimes

Apart from this, disproportionate attacks are also war crimes. These are attacks that cause a large number of civilian casualties relative to the military advantage of attacking a military target. So, for example, this might include a missile attack on an apartment building that the Russian military knew would bring little military advantage, but would result in a large number of civilian casualties.

International law prohibits such attacks

International law also prohibits indiscriminate attacks. These may include the use of certain weapons against military targets in densely populated urban areas, such as artillery, cluster munitions or thermobaric ‘vacuum’ bombs, whose widespread effects also carry the risk of killing civilians. Russian troops have already been accused of using cluster weapons and vacuum bombs in civilian areas in Ukraine. Both were also used by the Russian military in the devastating Chechen wars in the 1990s.

They are also involved in war crimes

Other war crimes include murder, torture, hostage taking, illegal detention and destruction of property. It is also a war crime to kill or injure someone posing as a civilian without military insignia on the other side (such as potential Russian saboteurs wearing Ukrainian uniforms), or without military insignia (potentially involving Ukrainian civilians). Can, who throw Molotov cocktails).

likelihood of committing a crime

This is not the first time that the ICC has investigated alleged crimes in Ukraine. Khan’s predecessor, Fatou Bensouda, found in a preliminary investigation in 2020 that there was a reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity had been committed in eastern Ukraine and Crimea since 2014. Bensouda did not indicate who was responsible, although most of the crimes were likely committed by the Russian military (in Crimea) and pro-Russian separatists (in eastern Ukraine).

The prosecutor’s office has yet to ask the judges for permission to launch a full-scale investigation. But Khan has now confirmed those findings and expressed his desire to launch an expanded formal investigation involving the current conflict. In Crimea, charges include everything from intentional murder and torture to the recruitment of Ukrainian civilians into the Russian military and the forced transfer of civilian prisoners from occupied territory. In eastern Ukraine, alleged war crimes have included murder, torture, rape and launching attacks, causing civilian casualties.

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