Ukraine has filed a suit against Russia at the highest United Nations court in The Hague for disputes between states, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said.
It was unclear on precisely what grounds the case was being brought to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). A court official could not immediately be reached for comment.
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“Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ,” Zelenskyy said on Twitter on Sunday.
Ukraine has submitted its application against Russia to the ICJ. Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now and expect trials to start next week.
— Володимир Зеленський (@ZelenskyyUa) February 27, 2022
“Russia must be held accountable for manipulating the notion of genocide to justify aggression. We request an urgent decision ordering Russia to cease military activity now.”
The court does not have a mandate to bring criminal charges against individual Russian leaders behind the four-day-old invasion.
It also does not have automatic jurisdiction in cases involving the two nations and Kyiv would have to base its claim on a UN treaty in order to give the court authority to hear the matter.
The Kremlin has tried to justify its operation to “demilitarise” Ukraine as an attempt to prevent the alleged persecution of the country’s Russian-speaking minority.
But the international community has roundly condemned the invasion as a flagrant breach of international law, and many Ukrainian civilians have volunteered to defend their country.