Chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan visited Kharkiv on June 16 with Ukrainian Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova to document evidence of war crimes. During his visit Khan called the city a “crime scene,” and toured the places hardest hit by Russian bombing. “We must make sure that the whole world sees that the law works,” Khan said, promising to prosecute war criminals. Venediktova praised Khan for his visit, saying, “Prosecutors are working even under fire gathering evidence for [Ukrainian and international] courts.” Venediktova reported that 760 civilians have been killed, over 1,000 injured, and 4,000 buildings destroyed in Kharkiv oblast due to Russian shelling.
Russia’s UN representative has dismissed the ICC and its rulings as illegitimate, saying: “Neither the ICC nor the West are bothered about numerous crimes of the Kiev regime…”
From Jurist, June 1. Used with permission.
Note: Both the International Criminal Court and UN Human Rights Council have opened investigations into possible war crimes in Ukraine.
Photo via Wiadomosci
Ukraine president purges prosecutor’s office, security service
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced July 17 that he had dismissed Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova and the head of Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), Ivan Bakanov, from their posts amid an investigation that revealed that more than 60 employees of the SBU and Prosecutor General’s Office are currently engaged in “treason” against Ukraine. The purge comes as the former SBU officer in Crimea, Oleh Kulinich, was arrested on suspicion of high treason. (Jurist)
Ukraine appeals court reduces life sentence of Russian soldier
A Kyiv appeals court on July 29 reduced the life sentence of Vadim Shishimarin, a 21-year-old Russian soldier who was the first to be tried and convicted for war crimes following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Shishimarin’s life sentence was reduced to 15 years following an appeal from his lawyer, who said Shishimarin’s actions were misclassified.
Currently the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office has said it is looking into more than 10,700 potential war crimes involving more than 600 suspects, which include Russian soldiers and government officials. (Jurist)
UN announces probe into Ukraine prison attack
UN Secretary General António Guterres on Aug. 3 announced a fact-finding mission into a recent attack on a Ukrainian prison. The rocket strike hit a prison located in Olenivka, a Russian-controlled area of Ukraine, which housed Ukrainian prisoners of war. Some 50 people died in the strike, with the Russian and Ukrainian sides blaming each other. (Jurist)
Amnesty International meanwhile released a report accusing Ukraine of placing civilians at risk by basing troops in residential areas. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy charged that the report “tries to shift the responsibility from the aggressor to the victim.” (Jurist)