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Russia To Be Investigated Over Possible War Crimes Following Attacks On Schools, Hospitals

Rachel Lang

Published 

Russia To Be Investigated Over Possible War Crimes Following Attacks On Schools, Hospitals

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has announced it will investigate Russia for possible war crimes after it invaded Ukraine.

ICC chief prosecutor Karim Khan revealed in a statement that he believes 'alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Ukraine' and an investigation into Russia's actions will be launched 'as rapidly as possible'.

The announcement comes days after widely-banned cluster munitions killed one child and two adult civilians at a preschool in Okhtyrka, Ukraine.

Open source reports confirm that Russian forces were active in the local area at that time.

Ukrainian civillians arm themselves against the Russian threat in Kyiv.
Ukrainian civillians arm themselves against the Russian threat in Kyiv.

Cluster munitions are broadly banned in the global community as they explode and scatter dozens or even hundreds of explosives which often do not detonate on impact, leaving remains that act as landmines and place civilian life at serious risk.

Amnesty International secretary-general Agnès Callamard said there was 'no possible justification for dropping cluster munitions in populated areas, let alone near a school'.

"This attack bears all the hallmarks of Russia's use of this inherently indiscriminate and internationally-banned weapon, and shows flagrant disregard for civilian life," Callamard said.

"Plain and simple, this should be investigated as a war crime."

Russian forces have also been accused of using cluster munitions in an attack against a Ukrainian hospital that killed four civilians and another 10.

Human Rights Watch arms director Steve Goose called on Russian forces to cease the use of such weapons that 'indiscriminately kill and maim'.

An international treaty outlawing the use of - or even possessing these types of weapons - has been signed by 110 countries around the world.

Neither Russia and Ukraine have signed on to the treaty.

Previous ICC probes into Russia's actions in Crimea following pro-EU protests in 2014 found that war crimes had been committed, but full-scale investigation was not launched.

Neither Russia or Ukraine are parties to the ICC, however Ukraine did accepted the court's findings for the crimes committed by Russia in 2014.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: War, Ukraine, crime, Russia

Rachel Lang
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