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ICJ Holding Hearings Over Ukrainian War on March 7–8
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ICJ Holding Hearings Over Ukrainian War on March 7–8

“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine since 2014.”


NEW DELHI — The International Court of Justice on Tuesday said it would hold genocide hearings on March 7 and 8 over the war in Ukraine, as fighting intensifies.

The Hague-based ICJ, the United Nations’ top court, will open the public hearings after Ukraine lodged a complaint with the court to order Russia to stop its invasion.

“The hearings will be devoted to the request for the indication of provisional measures submitted by Ukraine,” the court said in a statement.

More than 660,000 people have already fled abroad, the UN refugee agency said, estimating that a million people are displaced within ex-Soviet Ukraine, which has a population of 44 million.

The UN estimates that up to 4 million refugees may need help in the coming months and 12 million more will need assistance within the country.

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The ICJ, which is based in the Netherlands capital The Hague, does not have the mandate to bring criminal charges against individual Russian leaders behind the invasion.

But it is the world’s top court for resolving legal complaints between states over alleged breaches of international law.

International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan had already announced he was launching an investigation on the “situation in Ukraine” following Russia’s invasion.

“I am satisfied that there is a reasonable basis to believe that both alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine since 2014,” Khan said in a statement Monday.

Russia has defied international bans, boycotts, and sanctions to press ahead with an offensive it says is aimed at defending Ukraine’s Russian speakers and toppling the leadership.

The United States trusts “the Court is taking into consideration the dire circumstances and rapidly unfolding events,” the State Department said in a statement Tuesday.

Spokesman Ned Price said Washington hopes the court “will act with utmost urgency on Ukraine’s request for provisional measures” in the hearing.

“Each day that Russia is unconstrained in its aggression is a day that brings more violence, suffering, death, and destruction in Ukraine,” he said.

Earlier Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, had asked the International Court of Justice to hold a hearing on Ukraine’s request as soon as possible and call upon Russia to immediately halt all military activity in Ukraine.

Meanwhile on Tuesday Kyiv in a statement said deadly Russian airstrikes hit a residential block in Kharkiv city of Ukraine with Ukraine’s president accusing the Kremlin of a “war crime” as the civilian toll of the invasion mounted.

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“This is state terrorism on the part of Russia,” Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia.

 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called the bombardment in Kharkiv “absolutely sickening” and reminiscent of the massacre of Sarajevo in the 1990s.

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