ICC to issue first arrest warrants linked to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The Guardian reports

The prosecutor at the international criminal court will formally open two war crimes cases and issue arrest warrants for several Russians deemed responsible for the mass abduction of Ukrainian children and the targeting of Ukrainian civilian infrastructure, according to reports on Monday.

The New York Times and Reuters news agency reported that the prosecutor, Karim Khan, would ask pre-trial judges to approve arrest warrants on the basis of evidence collected so far. If successful, it would be the first time ICC warrants have been issued in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It is not clear whether the warrants would be sealed, which would leave suspects guessing over whether they had been implicated. It is unlikely that the warrants would lead to trials as the ICC would not try the defendants in absentia, and Russia, which is not a member of the ICC, is highly unlikely to hand them over to the court, based in The Hague.