International court seeks arrest of Russian officials over attacks on Ukrainian civilian targets

The International Criminal Court said Tuesday it has issued arrest warrants for Russia’s former defense minister and its military chief of staff for attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine, the third time the global court has issued warrants for senior Russian leaders, the Associated Press reports.

The court is accusing former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov of war crimes and the crime against humanity of inhumane acts.

Judges who approved the prosecutors’ request for arrest warrants said the suspects are charged with inhumane acts because there is evidence they “intentionally caused great suffering or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health” of civilians in Ukraine.

The court said in a statement that warrants were issued Monday because judges considered there were reasonable grounds to believe that the men are responsible for “missile strikes carried out by the Russian armed forces against the Ukrainian electric infrastructure” from Oct. 10, 2022, until at least March 9, 2023.

“During this time frame, a large number of strikes against numerous electric power plants and substations were carried out by the Russian armed forces in multiple locations in Ukraine,” the court added.

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