Russia-Ukraine crisis

Canada to refer ICC to probe alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine

Reuters
Canada to refer ICC to probe alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine

STRIKING ZHYTOMYR. A view of rubble following a Russian strike during Russia's invasion of Ukraine, in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, March 1, 2022 in this still image taken from video.

State Emergency Service of Ukraine/via Reuters TV/Handout via Reuters

The office of the International Criminal Court prosecutor says it will seek court approval to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine, days after Russia's invasion of its neighbor.

GENEVA, Switzerland – Canada has decided to refer the situation in Ukraine to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to probe alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity by Russian forces in Ukraine, its government said on Tuesday, March 1.

The office of the ICC prosecutor on Monday said it will seek court approval to open an investigation into alleged war crimes in Ukraine, just days after Russia’s invasion of its neighbor. 

“We are working with other ICC member states to take this significant action as a result of numerous allegations of the commission of serious international crimes in Ukraine by Russian forces,” Canada’s foreign minister Melanie Joly, said in a statement.

“The ICC has our full support and confidence. We call on Russia to cooperate with the court.”

Russia calls its actions in Ukraine a “special operation”.

The referral by a member state will fast-track an investigation by allowing the prosecutor to skip having to seek court approval, and according to a diplomatic source will shave months off the process of starting an investigation.

Joly earlier spoke to reporters in Geneva after taking part in a walk-out of a virtual speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to the UN Human Rights Council, and had said that the country would petition the ICC against Russia. – Rappler.com