Kyiv’s legal team told the UN’s highest court on Tuesday that Moscow was using a falsehood about what it has alleged is the genocide of Russian-speakers in eastern Ukraine to justify its full-scale invasion of its neighbour.
“Russia is waging war against my country in the name of this terrible lie that Ukraine is committing genocide against its own people,” said Anton Korynevych, a legal representative for Ukraine, the Associated Press reported.
“This lie is Russia’s pretext for aggression and conquest. Russia has presented no credible evidence. It cannot,” Korynevych added.
Ukraine brought its case against Russia to the International Court of Justice shortly after the full-scale invasion began in February 2022, arguing that Moscow was abusing the Genocide Convention.
Ukraine also claimed on Tuesday that Russia is defying the International Court of Justice by refusing to halt military action despite an interim order by the UN court in March last year.
“Russia’s defiance is also an attack on this court’s authority. Every missile that Russia fires at our cities, it fires in defiance of this court,” Korynevych told the judges, according to the AP.
Kyiv insists there was no risk of genocide in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which have been run by Russian-sponsored rebels since 2014, and which Russia now claims to have annexed.
Russia’s legal team called on the International Court of Justice on Monday to dismiss Ukraine’s case, describing its arguments as “hopelessly flawed”.
In parallel to the ICJ case, there are multiple international initiatives to probe and prosecute war crimes and aggression in Ukraine, including an investigation by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court, which issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in March this year over the abduction of Ukrainain children.
On September 14, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office said that the ICC had opened a field office in Kyiv to boost its investigations.
In July, the International Centre for the Prosecution of the Crime of Aggression against Ukraine, ICPA, a new legal body that will investigate crimes committed during the Russian invasion, was launched in The Hague.
Source : Balkaninsight